Back in 1974, in a moment out of an Indiana-Jones movie, construction workers building a well struck something far greater than fresh water: They accidentally discovered one of the world’s most significant archeological sites. Researchers went to work, uncovering long corridors of clay figures, life-sized and standing in formations, numbering in the thousands. Each terracotta warrior has his own facial expression and rank, some with preserved bits of color—hinting that all were once arrayed in painted brilliance. Horses and chariots accompany them into battle. They were commissioned by Qin Shi Huang, who took the throne in 246 B.C., commissioned this eternal army at the age of 13, and went on to become the first emperor of China. The museum opened in 1979 and now you can see the three main pits, as well as other, smaller sites surrounding.
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