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Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
Teacher/Educator, Museum Staff
Social Studies, Arts :
Smithsonian Staff

These learning resources provide a unique opportunity to explore Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Complex, home to China's Terracotta Army. Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from the Qin dynasty, a significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army's collections

 

Terracotta Warriors & Figures: Object Analysis

<p>In this activity, students will use visual evidence to try guess the roles of figures found in the elaborate tomb complex of China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE), and analyze what they may reveal about his values, how he saw himself, and how he saw his world.  </p> <p>Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles and contains over 7,000 terracotta figures, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. </p> <p>Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.</p> <p><em>Keywords: </em><em>archaeology, archaeologist, ancient history, artifact, afterlife, funerary practices, burial, death, spiritual beliefs, military, soldier, sculpture, chinese, world, asia, asian, xi'an, empire, cross-cultural comparison, terra cotta, qin shi huang, shihuangdi, shi huang di, earthenware, ceramics, pottery, terracotta army</em></p>
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China's Terracotta Army: Information and Teaching Resources

<p>This collection contains information and teaching resources on the Terracotta Army, a group of approximately 7,000 life-size terracotta figures created for the tomb complex of China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE). Resources in this collection cover a wide range of topics, including: the discovery of the Terracotta Army, Emperor Qin Shihuang, the unification of China, Qin dynasty (221 – 206 BCE) spiritual beliefs, how the terracotta warriors were made, the different types of terracotta warriors, and the types of bronze weaponry found in the Terracotta Army pits. This collection also contains three interactives: a timeline of ancient Chinese history, a map of the tomb complex, and maps of battle formations in the Terracotta Army pits.</p> <p>Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history.They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. </p> <p>Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.</p> <p><em>Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; religion; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world history; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics</em></p> <p><em></em></p>
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China's Terracotta Army: Exploring Artistic Practices

<p>In this activity, students will analyze figures from the Terracotta Army, made for China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE), in order to explore the artistic practices of a newly unified China during the Qin dynasty (221 – 206 BCE). Students will explore the elements of art and principles of design used in the terracotta warrior figures before designing their own papercraft terracotta warrior.</p> <p>The Terracotta Army, a group of approximately 7,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses, was created for Emperor Qin Shihuang to form a small part of his elaborate tomb complex. These figures are significant not only because of their artistic realism, detail, and diversity, but also because of their rarity – the majority of surviving objects from this time period have been found in Emperor Qin Shihuang's tomb complex.</p> <p>Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.</p> <p><em>Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; spiritual beliefs; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; see wonder connect; project zero; visible thinking routine; strategy; maker; art making; papercraft; terra cotta; shihuangdi; shi huangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics</em></p> <p><em>#visiblethinking</em></p>
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