The terracotta figures of ancient warriors keep watch over the Resort as they did over the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi in China more than two thousand years ago.
The detailed replicas of warriors and their horses represent a tiny portion of the 8,000-strong army of war chariots, cavalry, archers, infantry and horses of China’s first emperor. The army was buried with real weaponry, in battle formation, near the Emperor’s tomb in Xi’an.
The craftsmanship of the huge army of figurines is extraordinary. The posture, costume and hair accessories of each warrior varies according to rank and unit. None of the 8,000 soldiers looks alike—each has a distinctive individual expression and hairstyle; some are young and fresh-faced, while others have the lined faces of veterans.
The Making of the Terracotta Army
The terracotta warriors, chariots and horses at Xi’an in China were made on a ‘production line’, mass-producing thousands of clay figures that were then finished by hand.
The life-size figures were made from a small range of hollow clay moulds. By varying the angles at which the head and limbs were attached to the trunk it was possible to produce a wide variety of figures.
Once assembled and dry, each figure was covered with several layers of fine clay into which the features—such as mouth and eyes—were individually carved. Moulded noses, ears and uniform details were added before firing. The figures were then painted in bright colours, although the paint faded or wore off long ago.