[Editor's note: The famous Xian warriors are stationed at National Geographic's Explorer's Hall in Washington, DC, thru March 31, 2010, open daily with late Wednesdays. Entrance fee applies, museum has details.]
Republished from The Washington Post.
An army for the afterlife
By Michael O’Sullivan. Friday, November 20, 2009
Buried for more than 2,000 years until their accidental discovery by Chinese farmers in 1974, the world-famous terra cotta warriors — a life-size militia of about 7,000 clay figures created to protect China’s first emperor in the afterlife — have arrived in Washington. Well, 15 of the 1,000 or so that have been unearthed, along with more than 100 related artifacts from the grave site of Qin Shihuangdi (259-210 B.C.) in Shaanxi province.
On view through March 31 at the National Geographic Museum, the last stop on a four-city U.S. tour, “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor” is the first time this many of the figures have traveled to the States. What’s more, according to museum director Susan Norton, museum-goers here will be able to get within a few feet of the warriors, far closer than even at the original archeological site, where visitors look down on the burial pits from a distance.