The Terracotta Army figures lie underground for more than 2000 years. In 1974, farmers digging a well about 1500 meters east of the tomb uncovered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. The firstly discovered site of Terracotta Army was named Vault One. In 1976, the other two vaults were uncovered 20-25 meter close to the Vault One, and were named Vault Two and Vault Three respectively. Excavation of the underground vaults of earth and timber revealed thousands of life – sized Terracotta Army in battle formation – a whole army which would accompany its emperor into immortality. The excavation was a real big shock to the whole world – the vaults are so big, the figures are so vivid and the number of the figure is so incredible!
Every figure differs from those around in facial features and expressions, clothing, hairstyle, gesture. The horsemen, the longbow bearers, the archers, the senior officers and generals were positioned in strict accordance with the ancient directives on the art of war. Many of the figures originally held real weapons of the time, such as bronze swords, longbows, arrowheads, spears, dagger-axes and other long-shaft weapons. Surface treatment of theweapons made them resistant to rust and corrosion so that after being buried for over 2000 years they were still sharp.
The Terracotta Army figures supply abundant and real objects of military, culture and economy to the study of the history of that period. The Terracotta Army figures excavation was regarded as one of the greatest discovery in the 20th century. In Dec. 1987, the UNESCO ranked the Tomb of the First Emperor (including the Terracotta Army Vaults) into the list of World Cultural Heritages. Standing in the exhibition hall, one would be shocked by such a grand ancient army formation, which will lead you back to the ancient warring situation. The tomb is a treasury for the Chinese people and for the whole world as well.