The Terracotta Warriors

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     In 221 b.c. Ying Zheng (259-210 b.c.), the King of Qin, consolidated the seven Warring States and proclaimed the first empire of a unified China, the Empire of Ten Thousand Generations. He took the name Qin Shi Huang Di. He standardized the currency, weights, measures, and language, established a uniform law code, created a centralized government, and joined the separate walls erected by earlier rulers into the 3000 kilometer Great Wall.
     His reign lasted for a little over ten years. When he died he was buried under the artificial mountain, Mount Li, near present-day Xian in northeast China. As a part of his grave good an entourage of six to eight thousand terracotta warriors and horses, and 100 chariots was created,  possibly to replace those who would have been killed to accompany the emperor into the next world. This army was not known until 1974 when peasants digging a well for their village uncovered a part of the mausoleum.
     The terracotta figures have individual characteristics that distinguish them for each other. There are seven distinct head shapes with individual facial features. Clothing, rank, posture and colors give the army a sense of reality.
     In 1987 the Qin Shi Huang mausoleum was declared a World Heritage site. It covers 56.25 square kilometers. The terracotta warriors are 1.8 to 2 meters tall; the horses are 2 meters long

     In 1983 China issued a set of four stamps showing the excavation and figures from the mausoleum.

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