Xi'an Terracotta Army, China
In 1974, peasants digging a well in the northern Chinese city of Xi'an were disappointed in their search for water. Instead, they uncovered the major archaeological discovery of the 20th century: An underground vault that for over two millennia had been home to more than 8000 beautifully crafted, life-size terracotta soldiers. Xi'an, a dusty industrial city in the province of Shaanxi, suddenly had one of the world's premier tourist attractions.
For 2200 years the Xi'an terracotta warriors silently guarded the tomb of Qin Shihuang, first Emperor of China, remembered chiefly for uniting China in 222 BC thanks to a judicious mix of torture, murder and cruelty. By the time he'd pulled the country together, standardised the currency and made a good start on the Great Wall of China, the Emperor had made more than a few enemies. None could touch him while he strutted the earth, but he feared the afterlife was a different story. To ensure his safety from the petulant gods of the netherworld, Shihuang had a terracotta army made and buried with him in a massive tomb to protect and follow him into immortality.
The warriors stand five to six feet tall and were originally painted in bright colours (now faded to white). Although they look similar at first glance, they're frozen in different poses and garbed in outfits ranging from armour and belted tunics to coats of chain mail and wind-proof caps. Closer scrutiny reveals slight differences in their complexions, expressions, ages, hairstyles and beards. Emperor Shihuang had the best artisans of the day create the warriors, and walking among the figures can be an unnerving experience - like mixing with the dead of another time.
Shihuang was a cruel emperor who ordered those working on the project to be buried alive with him so that no secrets of the tomb could be revealed. If there were Gods in the afterlife stalking him, let's hope his army didn't help.
Critiques | Translate
arnaud (299) 2006-10-08 9:13
Good composition and exposure. This site is very impressive.
oochappan (22043) 2006-10-08 9:28
A fine detail of this tomb, well closed in, maybe some sharpening was possible to enhance the texturing of the rocks, I tired in a WS, hope you like it.
balatrek (7447) 2006-10-08 9:33
Interesting image, they really seem people, I like the composition, she is simple but of very expressive, perfect contrast, congratulations.
dragonslayero (3116) 2006-10-08 12:22
Magnificent shot of a piece of history from proparbly the cradle of modern science and understanding.
Your choice of sepia tone is very fitting, it creates the right impression for this anchient army.
Stepan (27210) 2006-10-09 13:54
An interesting close up and cropping of the army. It's cool to see the faces differences. But I regret the law contrast...
vascao (192) 2006-10-10 21:50
A very original image of this very well known site, crisp and clear and highly detailed.
Regards, Aysegul, and TFS.
stiginthedump (1823) 2006-10-11 4:52
This photo could do with some more contrast and sharpening. Try having a play around with the levels and see what happens. Also I think a little cropping would be a good idea as I find the face entering the frame on the right a little distracting.
Regarding the note. Did you get permission off lonely planet for copying their notes?
HaBeMa (1326) 2006-11-12 2:44
Selam Aysegul;enfes bir tarih kesitini netligi ve renkleri ile mukemmel karelemissiniz,aciklama notunuzda cok cok iyi.
Didi (48896) 2006-11-13 18:05
Nice tight composition; we are able to appreciate the details of the statues.
pippo (596) 2006-11-29 11:49
very nice composition of this amazing place.
i like it very much!
marietom (34603) 2008-05-21 10:52
Belle image, d'une belle découverte. j'aime le graphisme de cette image.
- Copyright: Aysegul Ozkan (rozy975) (3047)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2006-09-20
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
- Exposure: f/3.5, 1/20 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2006-10-08 8:53
- Favorites: 1 [view]