China’s Terracotta Warriors to Be Exhibited in San Francisco

Ten life-sized Terracotta Warriors from China will be a central part of an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the United States.

The exhibition, China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Asian Art Museum. It is the first exhibition held in the United States that focuses on the historical relics of China’s Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

In a bid to achieve immortality, China’s first emperor Qinshihuang of the Qin Dynasty built himself a tomb — a vast underground city guarded by a life-sized terracotta army including warriors, infantrymen, horses, chariots and all their attendant armor and weaponry. The underground burial complex was first unearthed in 1974 in Shaanxi province, and is considered an astonishing discovery on a par with ancient Egypt’s elaborate tombs.

123 exhibits from Qinshihuang’s tomb and tombs of the early Qin Dynasty sent by 13 museums in Shaanxi will be on display. The exhibition will feature 10 figures — a representative sample of the actual army, which is estimated to include more than 7,000 life-sized figures and more than 10,000 weapons.

Visitors will be able to take a close look at the first emperor’s other relics, such as the bronze swords inlaid with gold and turquoise and horses and chariots.

This exhibition is distinctive, as what have been brought to the US are the terracotta warriors with the most dramatic look, the earliest discovered cavalry figurine and the rare kneeling terracotta warrior with his face painted green.

The chariot and horse terracotta displayed in the hall of the museum are also unusual. Usually only one is showcased. This time, both are displayed, which is unusual.

To prevent the exhibits from being damaged in earthquakes, which can occur in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum has made every exhibit shockproof. They have also used 3-D image technology and drawings to reproduce the images of the weapons, horses and other items from the Qin Dynasty to help visitors better understand the ancient culture of the period.

The exhibition opens to the public from Feb. 22 to May 27.

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