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Local farmers digging a well discovered the first terracotta pieces in 1974 and since then, over 600 pits have been unearthed across a 22-square-mile area.  Three major pits are open to the public and it’s estimated that over 8,000 soldiers were sculpted to protect China’s fist Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, in the afterlife (he clearly must have been one bad dude to need so many soldiers!).  An airplane-style hangar was built over the three accessible tombs to protect the soldiers from the elements and let workers begin restoration work:

Terracotta warriors in Xian, China

A massive airplane hangar was built over Pit 1 uncovered by farmers in 1974. Archeologists estimate there are 8,000 soldiers buried in the tombs.

Terracotta warriors in Xian, China

The warriors were found by farmers in 1974 as they were digging wells for water for their crops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis hosts the only US appearance by the warriors in 2014.  They have over 100 artifacts including full-size sculptures:

Terra Cotta Warriors at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Mom checking out the Kneeling Archer, one of three poses for the soldiers.

Terracotta warriors at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Standing archer preparing to pull his bow to defend against an approaching enemy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terracotta soldiers at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Armored General sculpture

Terracotta soldiers at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Over 150 life-sized calvary horse sculptures were found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you get the chance, definitely check out the exhibit!!!

Terracotta warriors at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

I think my nieces’ (Niki on the left, Dani on the right) favorite part of the exhibit was banging the bell (anything that makes noise!).

terracotta soliders at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

My favorite sculpture – a mini-horse drawn chariot! They found over 130 chariots and 520 horses in the Xian tombs. This sculpture is spectacular and closes out the exhibit at the Children’s Museum.

The Grubb Clan at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

The Grubb clan (l-to-r): Memory (sister-in-law) holding Dani, Memory’s father holding Niki, mom, Val and Eric (my brother).