Terracotta Army from China

Subject: Political
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 836
Topics: Military Science, Architecture, Design, Pop Art


The paper is set to explain about the art research. The focus of the research is the terracotta army of China. The article begins with a brief definition of what the military is all about. It further discusses some small subtopics which include the construction of the terracotta armies, the appearance and the types of the warrior figures and the weaponry. The discussion of these topics will reflect on the title of the paper and give a deeper understanding of what the terracotta army was all about. The article will end with a conclusion regarding the main points of the article and some of the views regarding the description of the artistic work. The report is hence set to explain the Chinese terracotta army in various dimensions.

Definition and discovery

The Terracotta army from China is a composition of terracotta sculptures which depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang.He was the first Chinese Emperor.it is a kind of a funeral art which was buried with the emperor.Its  purpose was protecting him and his life after that. The army was discovered on March 29, 1974, on the eastern side of Xian in the Shaanxi province. Farmers who were digging a well which was approximately 1.5 kilometers east of the tomb belonging to Emperor Qin mounted at Mount LI (Man).it was a region which was sifted with underground watercourses and springs. The figures of the warriors vary in height depending on the assigned roles. The generals are the tallest. Some of these statistics include chariots, horses, and warriors. According to research from 2007, the pits which contained the army held more than 130 chariots, eight thousand soldiers, one fifty Calvary horses and five hundred and twenty horses. Nonmilitary terracotta was found in other pits. Some of these figures include strongmen, acrobats, and officials.

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Types and appearance of the warrior figures

The figures are, life-sized whereby they have a variation in the uniform, height and the hairstyle. It happens by the rank. For each picture, the faces appear different. There are ten basic shapes which have been identified by the scholars. Some of the general types which the figures consist of Calvary men who put on a pillbox hat, armored warriors, spear-carrying charioteers, unarmored infantrymen, generals and kneeling armored anchors among others. In some cases, there are terracotta horses which are placed among warrior figures. Figures were initially painted with pigments which were bright. Some of these colors included red, blue, green, purple, lilac and white. The bright colors have been a source of attraction for those who view them (Jian Li and Wert).

Construction of the terracotta army figures

Local artisans and government laborers manufactured the terracotta army figures in the workshops using the local materials. Legs, arms, torsos, and heads were separately created and then assembled through the luting of pieces together. After collecting, the terracotta figures were placed in the pits where they were militarily formed depending on the duty and the rank. Molds were used to create faces whereby at least ten face molds were used. After assembly, clay was added so that each figure would appear different. The legs were made similarly as the terracotta drainage pipes were made (Kerrigan).


Most of these figures held weapons such as swords, crossbows, and spears. The use of these actual armaments increased the realism of the figures after the creation of the army, most of the original weapons were rotted. However, there are many weapons such as crossbows, shield, lances, battle axes, arrowheads and scimitars which were found in the pits. Similarly, over forty thousand bronze items were recovered from these cavities (Bower). The chariot was an essential element of the army whereby four types of them were found. The dagger-ax was the principal weapon of the charioteers. These weapons indicate the meaning of the title. Reading the title shows that the artwork could involve the use of firearms. Some of the weapons such as the swords were sharp and had a coating of chromium dioxide which kept the swords free of rust for about two thousand years. The sword also contained an alloy of tin copper and other elements which included magnesium, cobalt, and nickel. Some of them carried inscriptions which dated their manufacture date which was about 245 and 228 BCE. It indicated that the weapons were used long ago before the burials of the emperors.


According to the paper, the terracotta army artwork was discovered by farmers who were digging a well during a particularly dry spell. The way in which the artwork is gives a reflection of the title of the paper. The army consisted of weapons of war such as the spears. There is also a description of the animals of war such as the horse which was used by most of the warriors. The chariots were even significant during the war. The description of this artwork is not entirely different from other artworks which describe the battle. Different colors were just used to distinguish the different level of art.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Bower, Bruce. Clay reveals secrets of China’s mysterious terra-cotta army. 29 September 2017.
  2. Jian Li, (Art teacher) and Yijin Wert. Ming’s adventure with the Terracotta Army. New York, NY: Better Link Press, 2014.
  3. Kerrigan, Juliet. Terracotta army. London: Collins Educational, 2012.
  4. Man, John. The Terracotta army. New York: Howes, 2011.
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