Terracotta Warriors in Person (and in San Francisco)
If Maria can't go to China to see the famed terracotta warriors, then the terracotta warriors go to San Francisco (so Maria can have no more excuse to see them.)!!!!
I've been aware of the visit of the terracotta warriors at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco since February, but I was too busy to go. I knew that I wouldn't missed this chance, since seeing the terracotta warriors is one of the must-dos in my lifetime. I waited until the last minute, well not literally, because unbeknownst to me May was the Asian Pacific Heritage month and in connection with this, Target (the dep't store) sponsored a free day at Asian Art Museum. In addition, the special exhibit Terracotta Warriors was only $10.00, instead of the regular $22.00. Plus, just outside the museum was a street festival (another post).
I'm not going to write about the history of terracotta warriors, just read it here.
In 1980, archeologists excavated two chariots with horses and armed charioteers just west of the First Emperor's tomb. The chariots were meticulously cast in bronze and richly embellished with gold, silver and painted detail. Each chariot weighs more than a ton. These are replicas. The originals are Chinese national treasures that do not travel.
The exhibition featured 10 of the famed figures along with more than 100 artifacts. I was psyched when photography was allowed (no flash, many guards enforcing it). I couldn't believe my luck. Except of course, it was a free day, only 2 weeks left before the exhibit leaves, thus the place was packed even though the museum was good at controlling the number of people at certain "showtimes". It was difficult to take a picture, much less set up a tripod. I have seen a few with tripod but couldn't use it for lack of space.
Armored general. Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). Distinguished by his commanding post, headdress, armor and ribbons of rank, the general is the highest ranking and most structurally impressive of all the terracotta warriors. Only 9 generals have been excavated to date. Although the warriors were mass-produced, they were individualized through hand carving at the final stage.
Armored kneeling archer. Positioned at the front of Pit 2, kneeling archers protect the cavalry and chariots. These warriors are equipped with shoulder and body armor and wear their braided in a topknot. Intricate details remain, including tread on the archer's shoe.
Standing archer. Excavated in Pit 1, Qin Shihuang tomb complex.
The front is a light infantryman.
With the cavalry horse.
There were three exhibit rooms, the first one is where the warriors were and a few artifacts. The other two carried the artifacts.
In 2001, a pit containing 15 terracotta musicians and 46 life-sized bronze waterbirds was found about 2 miles NE of the First Emperor's tomb. The birds, which retain some of their original pinkish paint, were discovered on the banks of an artificial waterway. Some archaeologists believe the pit represents a royal park or sacred water garden.
A few artifacts also on exhibit.
The museum gift shop makes sure you can take home your own terracotta warriors. I wish I got me one.
OUR WORLD TUESDAY