Monday, October 18, 2010

Terracotta Warriors

Thursday, Oct. 14th.
At 8:30 am we left for the Terracotta Warriors, thought to be the 8th Wonder of the World. It was about an hour drive outside of the city of Xi'an and once again dodging traffic and stopping to pay tolls along the way. On March 29th, 1974 a farmer digging a well because of the drought discovered some pottery and reported it the authorities. These four farmers became instant heroes as they had discovered Emperor Qin's tomb from 2,000 years ago. I will not go into all the details of him, but google Terracotta Warriors. This cruel emperor had died at the age of 50, but made his people build him a tomb. The warriors were to protect him, and some 700,000 died building his tomb.  8,000 lifelike warriors, all different, were made to honor and protect him. The site was sacked in a revolution (many sites in China have been sacked and the rebuilt), taking a month to rob. His tomb remains untouched as authorities are trying to develop the technology to preserve and dodge the booby traps set; some even with mercury. In the three pits we toured, the the remains were re-constructed. In 1998 Bill Clinton visited the site and met one of the farmers who made the discovery. One is still living today and was present to sign a book when we visited and Cheryl  bought a book and had him sign it. It was a site almost too big and unreal to imagine.

Tom & Linda Rasmussen

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