The Terracotta Army: An Army Underground

Exterior Pits

Besides the three main pits found there was a fourth one uncovered. There are multiple theories as to what was supposed to be in the pit and why it is empty. The most popular belief is that it was meant to hold the central army. One piece of evidence to support this is its location in relation to the other pits. Situated between the second and third pit, the chariot pit and command post pit respectively, this would be an obvious location as to where the central army was located. A counter argument to this is the size of the pit. This pit was significantly smaller than the pit 1 and is believed to have not been large enough to hold an entire full sized central army. [2] The reason why there is no army in the pit is because it was never finished. Many historians believe that this pit was in construction during the revolution thus putting an end to its construction. [1] Another hypothesis about this pit is that it was meant to represent a supply column. [3]. According to Chinese military writings an army was composed of chariots, infantry, and a baggage train with supplies. Many people believe that to not have one major part of the army included in the tomb was not realistic due to the usual attention to detail. However like the other hypothesis, they believe this pit could not be finished and thus was never included. As a result historians to this day still do not know what military baggage carts and handlers look like.

Outside of the three main pits many other smaller pits have been found in the surrounding area. These pits give a much wider perspective into the nature of the first Emperor. One pit was found with clay figures, but these figures were very unlike the soldiers found in the main pits. These figures were not lined up in battle formation but instead conveyed movement. These figures had a great sense of realism as their body sizes ranged from heavy to very muscular. [3] The figures in this pit were much more damaged than in the other pits. However after reassembly and digging researchers were able to put together these figures. The heavier and more masculine figures were meant to represent acrobats, wrestlers, or weightlifters. The other more slender figurines were made as if they were sitting down. Next to the sitting figures archaeologists also found remnants of stringed instruments along with bone picks thus concluding that these figures were musicians. [1] . Here there were sixteen different sitting figures all arranged in a semi circle as if they were performing.

Another pit found in this area was meant to represent a harmonious river scene. This pit was constructed near a lake and involved water flowing into it. Two underground riverbanks were created to represent the real ones just above ground. [3] Inside and surrounding the rivers was an arrangement of 46 bronze birds. Each swan, crane, or bird was unique and either meant to be swimming in the riverbed or standing on what would be grass. With the use of the natural water this pit generated a harmonious atmosphere which is a harsh contrast to the rest of the complex.

These surrounding pits were an important discovery to the history of Qin Shi. Based off of the evidence found in the main pits, the emperor of China was portrayed as a harsh, cruel, war driven villain. However, the entertainer figures found in this pit revealed he also loved entertainment and the arts. The duck pit also showed his desire for harmony and peace.

This page has paths:

This page references: