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See the terracotta warriors up close in breath-taking detail

Tue 31 Jul 2018

China’s ancient treasures, the 2,300 year old terracotta warriors, are coming here this summer. Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality 秦始皇兵马俑:永恒的守卫 will open 15 December 2018 and run until 22 April 2019.

For more than 2,000 years, an underground army secretly guarded the tomb of Qin Shihuang, China’s First Emperor. They were discovered by chance in 1974 by a farmer digging a well and have come to be regarded as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the twentieth century – an eighth wonder of the world.

The exhibition features eight warriors standing 180 centimetres high, and two full-sized horses from the famous terracotta army, as well as two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses. 

The remarkable terracotta figures are given context in the exhibition by being presented alongside extravagant treasures from imperial tombs in and around China’s ancient capital, Xi’an.

Terracotta Warriors includes more than 160 exquisite works of ancient Chinese art crafted from gold, jade and bronze, which date from the Western Zhou through to the Han dynasties (1046 BC – 220AD).

Dr Rebecca Rice, curator of the exhibition, visited the First Emperor’s mausoleum in Xi’an and was astounded by the power the site has over its vast numbers of visitors each year. 

“At Te Papa, we’re offering visitors an immersive and intimate experience, a chance to see the terracotta warriors up close in breath-taking detail,” she says. “You can really appreciate the individuality of each warrior and the incredible creativity and sophistication it would have taken to build this remarkable army.

“The exhibition will also provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the First Emperor’s vision and his unification of China, shaping the nation as we know it today.”

Fore more information, visit tepapa.nz/terracottawarriors