Qin’s Army


A huge underground installation of 8,000 life-sized soldiers was commissioned in 210 B.C. China by the then 13-year-old emperor, Qín Shǐhuáng Ling. The installation took all of Qin’s lifetime to complete and wasn’t discovered for several thousand years. The installation is housed in three pits and consists of over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Acrobat, generals and entertainers are also included in the mix.

Some thoughts that spring to mind as I read about Qin’s Army:

Government waste is foremost on my mind. Can you think of a more awesome example?

And ego – what would Freud say about a 13-year-old who thinks he deserves an army of one –of-a-kind chess pieces to fight for him in the next life? I can’t imagine Qin as anything but a total asshole.

I also like to imagine the Chinese farmers in 1974, just going about their day digging a hole for a well. And then “Holy Shit!” It must have been like discovering Atlantis. Or seeing your World of Warcraft squad come to life.

And wow. Just wow. I’m so glad he did it. I’d never have the balls, but then I’m not a king.

Qin’s army – better known as “the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses” is Art Duh, at its most ginormous. It must have been quite a secret for the people who built it to keep.

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