Qin Shi Huang, who was the ruler of the Qin kingdom, was the first in the world to form a centralized power structure. To strengthen the integrity of the state, he undertook various major transformations. During his reign, the construction of the Wall of China, the national road network, began. In addition, he banned Confucianism, announced the burning of all books not allowed by the government.
Brief historical background
Qin Shi Huang was born in 259 BC. e., in the first month of the Chinese calendar year. In this regard, he was given the name Zheng, which means "first." The birthplace of the ruler was Handan. There, his father was a hostage, and his mother was a concubine. Qin Shi Huang initiated a wide construction activity. Palaces and temples were built in all cities of the empire, so, 270 palaces were built in the vicinity of Chang'an. The rooms in them were all decorated with canopies and curtains. Everywhere there lived the most beautiful concubines. Apart from the people closest to the ruler, no one knew where he was at any given moment. Qin Shi Huang died in 210 BC. e. (at 48 years old). He was buried in one of the forty-metermounds, but his remains have not been found to this day, since excavations in this area have been prohibited for some time.
China's Terracotta Army
Long before his death, the ruler began the construction of a luxurious, huge burial complex in Mount Lishan. The construction of the building lasted for thirty-eight years. During archaeological excavations, it was revealed that this complex has the shape of a square. The length of the structure is 350 meters from south to north. The length from east to west is 345 m. The memorial has a height of 76 meters. The total area of the burial complex is 56 square meters. km. Three powerful crypts were found on the territory of the memorial. The terracotta army is buried in them, the war cavalry, which recreates the real army. It was equipped according to all state rules of that time.
The Secret of the Terracotta Army
Buried figures that had been underground for over two millennia were discovered by accident in March 1974. At that time, the peasants were digging a well and stumbled upon the figures of horses and soldiers in the growth of a man. And there were several thousand of them. This was the same terracotta army of the emperor, buried next to him. She had to fight for her ruler and in the realm of death. Qin Shi Huang believed that he would rule his state even from the afterlife. But he, as he believed, was indispensable soldiers. Therefore, the Terracotta Army was created. At first, the ruler was going to bury four thousand young soldiers with him. But the advisers were ableconvince him not to. Living people were to be replaced by clay statues. It was assumed that the souls of all the soldiers who died in battles would move into them. At least there is such a legend. But for greater reliability, it was decided to double the number of the ruler's defenders, that is, they became 8 thousand.
What did the statues look like?
The Terracotta Warrior Army was like a real one. All the statues were made with amazing diligence and jewelry precision. None of the figures are alike. The faces of the soldiers show the multinationality of the middle state. So, the terracotta army of China consisted not only of the direct inhabitants of the country. Among the soldiers were Mongols, and Tibetans, and Uighurs, and representatives of other nationalities. Every detail of clothing was made in accordance with that period. Armor, shoes are reproduced according to the fashion of that time with amazing accuracy.
First, a hall with an area of 210 x 60 meters appears before your eyes. It was laid at a depth of 4.9 m. There are about 6 thousand infantrymen here. The statues are located in 11 parallel corridors. In front of the footmen are war chariots, which are drawn by horses. Unlike clay human and horse figures, chariots were originally made of wood. That is why there is practically nothing left of them. The infantrymen, located around them, are armed with six-meter bamboo spears, using which the soldiers blocked the enemy's path to the horses. Signal drums were once placed on two chariots andbells, by which orders were given and the direction of the attack was determined. Soldiers are also stationed in the northern and eastern corridors, guarding the approaches from the flanks to the main parts. They, like most foot soldiers, lack shields. The fact is that the terracotta army of Qin Shi Huang consisted only of fearless and strong soldiers who, not being afraid of death, did not wear either shields or armor. On the heads of the officers, as a rule, there were caps, and the ordinary soldiers had false hair in the form of bunches. In the 2nd hall there are about 1400 figures of horses and soldiers. The second gallery is located about twenty meters from the first. The soldiers of the 2nd hall are significantly different from those in the first. There are only 68 figures in the third gallery. Presumably, these are staff officers and batmen.
How were the figures made?
According to technology, the torso was molded first. From below, the statue was monolithic and massive, respectively. It is on this lower part that the entire center of gravity falls. From above, the body of the figure is hollow. After the body was burned, the arms and head were attached to it. Finally, the sculptor sculpted the face, covering the head with a thin additional layer of clay. Each soldier had his own individual expression. The hairstyle of each warrior is also very accurately conveyed. At that time, hair was the subject of increased attention. The figures were fired for several days at a constantly maintained temperature not lower than a thousand degrees. Thanks to such a long firing, the clay, hardening, became like granite. After that, the best artistspainted the statues. It should be said that the terracotta army was painted in natural colors. But over two millennia, the colors still faded, and in some places disappeared completely.
The bronze chariots with horses harnessed to them, found in the burial complex, were the most popular vehicle used by the ruler, courtiers and concubines. Weapons, linen and silk items, etc., should also be noted among the items found. The swords are well preserved. Their blades are still as sharp as they were in those ancient times, and it is simply impossible to touch them with a bare hand - a cut immediately remains. The eleven corridors of the main hall are separated by thick walls. Ancient masters laid out whole tree trunks on top, which they covered with mats. On top of this, a thirty-centimeter layer of cement was poured. Three meters of earth were laid on it. All this was supposed to provide reliable protection to the deceased ruler in the kingdom of the living. But, unfortunately, the calculation failed.
A few years after the death of their ruler, the Chinese terracotta army was defeated. His son Er ascended the throne. The inept actions of the heir caused a flurry of popular discontent. A peasant revolt broke out - the uprising that the ruler's advisers so feared. There was no one to suppress the discontent of the people: Er Shi Huangdi was weak-willed and weak. Outragedthe rebels plundered and then burned the immobile army. It should be said that these actions were not so much an act of vandalism as a practical decision of the rioters. The fact is that before his death, the first ruler ordered the destruction of all existing weapons, except for the one that the soldiers of the terracotta army were supposed to have. As a result, there were no weapons in the state, but 8,000 excellent sets of new bows, arrows, swords, spears, and shields were buried underground. As a result, the rebels, having seized weapons from the army of the first emperor, defeated the government troops. The mediocre young heir to the throne was killed by his courtiers.
For many centuries, various attempts were made to find treasures in the burial complex, a great many expeditions were undertaken. Moreover, both archaeologists and ordinary robbers participated in them. It should be said that many paid for these attempts with their lives. According to eyewitnesses, human skeletons are found every now and then among the excavations. Today, many values have changed. For example, the clay from which the walls are made can be comparable in value to gold. One brick from that ancient era is worth several tens of thousands of dollars.