The Terracotta Army: An Army Underground

Pit 2

Pit 2 is one of the more intriguing of the pits and the one with the most up for interpretation. Pit 2 is significantly different from pit 1. Being only 6,000 square meters it is still very large but much smaller than pit 1. This pit is arranged into an L shape and composed of four different types of units: crossbowmen, chariots, infantry, and cavalry. The most common opinion about pit 2 is that it is a large camp instead of an actual army. This is because the army is more spread out and the L shaped formation of this pit would not make much sense in battle. It is believed to be more of a staging or drilling area. [4] The more complex belief of the origin of this pit is the "four animal formation." [1] For this theory each section of the L is meant to represent the four animals of ancient China: red bird (crossbowmen), turtle (chariots), green dragon (cavalry), and white tiger (infantry). Each of these animals or sections can function separately but could also be united if need be. Another big question about pit 2 is its structural state. Pit 2 is the most damaged of all of the pits but historians are unsure as to why. 

Each section of the L shaped pit had a different type of unit.
1. The north eastern most part of the L was comprised of 352 archers. This section was split into four corridors of two soldiers all facing east and kneeling. On the north and south end of the section two longer corridors contain standing crossbowmen that face outwards protecting their respective flank. From this section historians learned an important Chinese military strategy known as the clouds formation. [1] This tactic consisted of archers that would alternate between standing up and kneeling as they reloaded. This allowed for a constant stream of arrows being fired at the enemy. 

2. The north western section of the L is composed of three long rows of cavalry men. Each row had eight teams of four horses and riders. Every rider stands in front of his respective horse and holds the reins of the horse in one hand and a crossbow in the other. The rider was dressed in shorts and a tunic. [5] This was surprising to many military historians because in the past cavalry men always wore robes that signified power but hindered movement. This hints at the fact that Qin Shi Huang may have abandoned some of the more elaborate and traditional acts of war in favor of more efficiency.

3.  The middle most section was composed of armored warriors and chariots. The landscape of this area is very hilly and uneven. These soldiers would accompany the chariots because they would be quicker in movement and could help the chariots if they ever got stuck.

4. The southernmost and base of the L formation consists of 64 war chariots. Due to the fact that the chariots were made of wood they have all rotted and disintegrated, leaving behind only traces of wood and the bronze fittings. These chariots are further evidence that this was not a real army formation and was instead more of a stand in, as many of the chariots did not have the full team assigned to them. This suggests that these chariots were intended for backup and would not all be brought into battle at once.

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