xi’an’s noble steeds in the year of the horse


2014, Year of the Horse, will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the past century, Xi’an’s Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses.

The thousands of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses symbolically protect the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇). There may be no more famous horses in all of China’s five thousand years of history.


Horses served the emperor in life and symbol as much as his loyal soldiers, and so they make up an important part of his necropolis. Here you can see terra cotta horses in formation with the warriors, and pulling bronze chariots. The life-size terra cotta horses stand ready to march, strong in stature, with finely groomed manes and tails. In a separate area close to the emperor’s tomb mound, bronze chariots and teams of horses were found, painted white and decorated with fine metals and ornate bridles. The Qin dynasty even created special stone armor for their noble steeds entering battle, also seen at the museum.

Read more about Xi’an this month, and this Chinese New Year, January 31, download China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an to learn more about the Terra Cotta Warriors and plan your trip for the Year of the Horse!