Tag Archives: xi’an; silk road; terra cotta warriors

Xi’an

Our final final trip, just last weekend, was a short jaunt to Xi’an—formerly known as Chang’an, capital of the ancient Chinese kingdom, and eastern terminus of the Silk Road—to see the terra cotta warriors (“and horses,” our guide would always add, as if we were giving the whole site short shrift by not mentioning the warriors’ equine colleagues).

We started the day on the Xi’an city wall, which is really quite lovely.

The highlight, of course, was the warriors (and horses!) themselves.

One thing that made this trip a bit more challenging, though, was the that the temperature was over 100 degrees, and the buildings that house the warriors (and horses!) are not air-conditioned. And since—you’ll be surprised to hear—there are more than a few people visiting, this made for some steamy touristing. Nonetheless, we persevered.

There are three pits. Pit 1 is the most famous, and the largest: it’s over 250 yards long and almost 70 yards wide. There are approximately 6,000 warriors (and horses!) in it, of which about 1,000 have been fully excavated. When you see photos of the warriors (and horses!), they’re almost certainly of Pit 1.

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