After Beijing, we went to Xi’An. We only stayed for two nights. That was fine because, aside from the Terra Cotta Warriors, there wasn’t much to do.
First we went looking for a bus to take us to the Warriors. We found one that was packed full and our guide, Jenny, who was awesome by the way, got on to ask about prices. The next thing I know, my mom is trying to get down the stairs to get off and the bus is driving away with us.
It was crazy. My mom sat on a package shelf at the front of the bus and my dad got stuck on a little fold up thing in the aisle that looked like a combination hammock and footrest. All kinds of people were coughing on the bus. Then, the bus broke down and we got to switch buses. We hightailed it on to the new bus and all four of us got seats.
Then we got to the warriors.
There are about 10,000 terra cotta warriors and every single one is different. The first pit alone was flabbergasting. There were probably 5000 in there and they had horses in the places that they would pull chariots. There weren’t any chariots or weapons. Do you know why? We learned that 2000 years ago, those parts were mostly made out of wood, not clay or metal, so they disintegrated over all that time.
There are 2 other rooms that are smaller, but, they were still very amazing. One of them has the pits mostly still covered. They have figured out what is under them with technology and they have a picture of how they are in position for a battle. They may not ever uncover them because they all used to have paint on them, but, when they got exposed to air, the paint flaked off or faded so you can’t see it. They used to be brightly colored.
Did you know that the whole armies were built for the emperor to take with him to the afterlife? We also learned something kind of sad and gross. The Emperor is buried in this hill that is a few kilometers away from the pits they have found so far. After he died, when they sealed his tomb, they also sealed over 600,000 slaves in there. The slaves were still alive! Jenny told us that the people who sealed the tomb put mercury in the water. If you eat it or inhale it, you die. Now, the Chinese government is afraid to dig in the tomb because the mercury is still in there.