The famed Terra Cotta Warriors are Xian's premier tourist attraction. The life-size clay army was unearthed from the mausoleum of China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. They represent one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in the 20th century and have made this ancient city a prime tourist destination. The site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 221 BC, 13-year old Qin became the first emperor to unite the country and he began building the Great Wall. The young king was obsessed with building and with the idea of death. To continue his rule after death, the emperor commissioned an army of 7,000 life-size terra cotta soldiers, horses and carriages be constructed. It is said it took almost 40 years to complete this task and when finished these warriors were were placed into the ground in precise military formation. They remained buried until 1974 when a Chinese farmer named Yang was digging a well and unearthed a terracotta head.
What we found most amazing was the magnitude of this army. We were told that what is on exhibit is just a small amount of this army. Mr. Yang was giving autographs and shaking people's hands when we visited but the line was too long for us to meet him.