Saturday, February 09, 2019

Terracotta Warriors - Bronze Chariots and Weapons

Clay figures were not the only thing present in the pits. Encased in large wooden coffins were two bronze chariots of remarkable state of preservation, discovered in 1980. Both bronze chariots, each led by four bronze horses, are now in on display in the Exhibition Hall. 

Chariot #2
About half life-size, the chariots are thought to be for Emperor Qin as he toured around in the afterlife. Each of the chariots had over 3,000 accessories. The one known as Chariot #2 has separate back and front rows, with the empty back row reserved for the emperor. A replica of both chariots can be seen at the Shaanxi History Musuem in Xi'an.
Over 40,000 bronze weapons were recovered from the pits where the Terracotta Warriors were buried. These were not just simulated weapons, but ones that were fully functional. Weapons included over 37,000 arrowheads,  as well as spears, swords, daggers, crossbows, battle axes, bayonets, and more unique ancient types.  

Despite being over 2,200 years old, the weapons were still sharp. These military-grade state-of-the-art weapons were also never used, indicating that they were made just for the Terracotta army. 
Reconstructed crossbow with mechanism from the burial pit
When studying the crossbow triggers, researchers determined that the parts were very uniform, made in molds and in small batches. Assembly of the standardized, five interlocking parts happened in small workshops – not in large assembly lines. The crossbows are capable of piercing modern armor and kill with a single strike. Read more about the weapons in this article.

No comments: