1½ hours drive north-east from Xi’an in a village called Lintong is China’s greatest archeological excavation, the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses. Discovered accidentally by farmers in 1974 east of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qi, terra-cotta figures of warriors and horses, most of which are life size, over 1.75 meters high, arranged in battle formations symbolically guard the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (246-209 B.C) in the afterlife.

The craftsmanship of each clay warrior is as impressive as the scale of the project.  Great care was taken to make each model unique, and each of the 8,000 soldiers had their own facial features, hair-style, and when dressed in the same uniform, the folds and fit are also unique.

So far, altogether over 8,000 pottery warriors, servants, officials, infantry, shooting soldiers, vehicle soldiers, cavalryman guardians, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed and displayed in the museum. It is cited as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.

Admission is ~100 RMB, 8am to 6pm.

1.5 hours north-east of Xi’an

Located nearby the Terracotta Warrior Museum, Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum is larger than Egypt’s Great Pyramid, and has still not been fully excavated.