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Warrior Life

Goodbye to Beijing meant Hello to Xi’an, a city to the southeast of Beijing. I begrudgingly roused myself at 5am to catch an early, early flight to Xi’an, and we spent a whirlwind 36 hours there before returning to Beijing and braving the dreaded train station.

This was just the first part of our second day there. Our first stop was at a facility where they make replicas of Terra Cotta Warriors, and also some really gorgeous lacquered furniture and keepsakes that are inlaid with jade. We got to see some different phases of the process, so that was pretty cool.

The mold gets the basic details in place for the larger replicas, but then a craftsman adds more detail and texture to it after it’s molded.

Every good warrior needs a horse… so here’s the mold for one. 🙂

This woman is molding a smaller replica of the warrior.

Some of the finished product.

Oh yeah, they also weave rugs at this place, too.

INTERMISSION!:

Barbara made a silly comment during the first couple days in Beijing, about how she hadn’t seen a dog since we got to China, except for one that looked like it was about to be dinner. So, I’ve been taking pictures of dogs every time I see one here. 😉

See? Just two friends saying howdy. D’aaawww. 😉

Anyhoo, since the Terra Cotta Warriors are local to Xi’an, it’d be pretty silly to see replicas being made, without actually seeing the real thing. 😉 So, we went to the site where the Warriors were first discovered. They were first found in the 1970s, by a farmer who happened to find them while digging ditches, and now it’s grown into a huge dig site with three separate pits.

This is just Pit 1! This pit showed the largest quantity of intact Warriors.

The dig site stretches out quite a ways, and all of these warriors used to have a wood-and-earthen roof over them.

If I heard correctly, Pits 1 and 2 are sometimes still worked on by archaeologists.

This guy was on display in the building that housed Pit 2. The rank of the warriors is, apparently, easiest to differentiate by their hair: warriors have one knot, mid-ranking officers have a flat-topped hairstyle, and generals have two knots.

Horses and chariots were found at the dig site, too. There were, obviously, ones made with terra cotta, but these guys were made of bronze.

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