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China's terra-cotta warriors are coming to the Field Museum

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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More than 2,000 years ago, the First Emperor of China constructed a massive tomb where he was buried with an army of more than 8,000 terra-cotta sculptures, depicting soldiers, horses and chariots that were created to protect the emperor in the afterlife. In 1974, farmers in China's Shaanxi province uncovered some of the life size statues, spurring a gigantic 22 square mile excavation of the tomb that archeologists continue to explore today. Aside from the pyramids, it's one of the most ornate examples of burial art that has been discovered.

For the first time in 30 years, ten of these figures (including a horse) will be on display at the Field Museum when "China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors" opens on March 4 (a great supplement to the museum's permanent "Cyrus Tang Hall of China" exhibit). In addition to the iconic clay sculptures, the exhibition will also include 170 objects, from bronze artifacts to weaponry, that date back to the rule of China's First Emperor. Visitors will learn more about the purpose behind the terra-cotta warriors and how continuing scientific investigations of the relics are shedding new light on ancient history. Access to the exhibition will be included in the Field Museum's Discovery and All-Access passes.

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