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Kallie Szczepanski

Terracotta Warriors in Color

By May 17, 2010

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Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China

Archaeologists have known for years that the army of terracotta warriors buried in a vast tomb complex in Xi'an, China were once painted in life-like colors.  Now, however, more than 100 of the warrior figures have been unearthed with substantial traces of their original colors intact.

The terracotta army was created to serve unified China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang-di, who ruled in the third century BCE. An estimated 8,000 of the soldiers are interred with the unexcavated remains of the emperor himself; each soldier has an individualized face and hairstyle.

They must have been a glorious sight when they were freshly painted. Even today, more than 2,000 years later, they certainly qualify as one of the wonders of the world.

Photo by kiwi mikex on Flickr.com.

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