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Terracotta Army  
Qin Shi Huang unified China, built the Great Wall and declared himself China's first sovereign emperor at age 13.  Work on his tomb began immediately.  Some 7000 labourers worked for 36 years on the project.   For 2200 years the warriors remained buried.   In 1974, peasant farmers digging a well unearthed this amazing archeological find
Pit #1

Arrayed in battle order, 38 rows of warriors and horses.  Of 6000 unearthed so far 1000 are standing in this pit

     

Each of the figures was modeled on an individual face.  Many belong to China's minority groups as befits the army of the first emperor of a unified China
  Originally painted with simple mineral pigments mixed with a binding agent such as blood or egg white.   Fire, flood and two thousand years have taken their toll and the figures are now seen in their familiar terracotta colour
Many of the armed figures held real weapons, spears, daggers, axes, long and crossbows.   Generals and officers carried bronze swords which were still sharp when excavated.   The warriors were accompanied by 35 horse drawn chariots but the wooden chariots have long since disintegrated
Work continues in Pit # 3 which is believed to be the command post for the army  An amazing amount has been accomplished but many decades of work remain to be done.  There may be an even bigger army still buried around Qin Shi Huang's tomb
 
A short walk from the Terracotta Warriors Museum is the village of Pang Gou

We were to visit the cave home of Mr & Mrs Pong.   When we arrived Mr Pong was playing checkers with the men of the village

 

 

In the Pong family courtyard the homes carved out of the rock are warm in winter and cool in summer.  They have electricity but share communal village bathrooms

Mr Pong, is a retired teacher and poet.  The Pong family have lived here for 200 years but none of their four sons want to inherit the family home

   Our arrival caused quite a stir, especially with the very young and very old 

 

This octogenarian couple came to see the visitors and to have their photographs taken for the first time their lives

They will eventually adorn their caskets at their funerals

 

 

 

Schools out and we were spotted.  As usual it is the boys who lead the stampede to see themselves on a video camera screen

One last apple cheeked baby out for a 'walk' with a funky looking Grandpa

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