Chocolate Terracotta Warriors, via
It’s been said that imitation is the best form of flattery, so the popularity of Terracotta Soldier replicas obviously demonstrates how much these amazing ancient statues have captured our modern-day imagination!
There are more than 30 factories in Xi’an’s Liantong District that craft replicas of the Terracotta Warriors in a variety of sizes. Most of the replicas are bought by Europeans, and we can only wonder where Roger Federer got this one!
If you’re unable to come to New York City this summer to see the real thing, there’s other spots that are featuring colorful celebrations of the ancient soldiers. In Vancouver, take the time to find the soldiers of the Terracotta Warrior Public Art Project. These replica warriors are painted by local artists and keep a stern eye on things in various public outdoor spaces throughout the city through the season. You can find similarly colorful Terracotta Warriors at the Missouri Botanical Garden Lantern Festival, which features four 10-foot-high paper lanterns in the shape of the ancient soldiers.
And if you happen to find yourself in Shanghai with a sweet tooth? Visit the magnificent Chocolate Terracotta Warriors at The World Chocolate Wonderland exhibition, which have been praised for being “so vivid and so well-made.”
The first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuangdi, was an amazing guy. Think about it: he was only 13 years old when he ascended to the throne, unified China before the age of 50, and left a legacy for the afterlife so impressive that it’s considered one of the most important cultural treasures of the world! So it’s no surprise that there are some great films about the emperor, and they’re a fun way to get a bit of a sense of what life was like in ancient China.
The Emperor and the Assassin
This 1998 film features a lethal love triangle based on an actual assassination attempt on Qin Shihuangdi: the First Emperor’s lover (Gong Li, from “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Miami Vice”) crafts an assassination plot to help him take over the state of Yan, but her hired assassin is madly in love with her and ready to kill Qin Shihuangdi. This was one of the most expensive movies produced in China at the time, and features lavish sets and gorgeous cinematography.
Nothing is small scale when it comes to the First Emperor: this 2002 film was China’s most expensive and highest-grossing film at the time. Jet Li plays Nameless, one of several assassins dispatched to kill Qin Shihuangdi. “Swooningly beautiful, furious and thrilling,” this film is packed with amazing martial arts action.
Jackie Chan is a general in the Qin army in this 2005 film. Reincarnated as a modern archaeologist, he discovers a meteorite associated with immortality. Interestingly enough, it was a meteorite that allegedly foretold the death of the emperor at 49.
It’s official! Visitors to Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China’s First Emperor love the show! And while the exhibit provides plenty of background on Emperor Qin, the Warriors, and ancient China, there’s just so much information that we couldn’t possibly fit it all in to the Discovery Times Square show (If we did, it would probably take a week to make your way through the exhibit, and you’d have to live off of the Cake Boss’ confections!)
That’s why we’ll be bringing you the latest news and fascinating facts about the Terracotta Warriors and their world via our Tumblr. This week, check out some fun information about the Warriors to impress your friends with:
- The Chinese phrase for “Terracotta Warriors” is bing ma yong, or “soldier horse funeral statues.”
- The tomb of the First Emperor, which still hasn’t been opened, is beneath an enormous mound near X’ian that is almost as large as the largest pyramid in Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza. It may have originally been twice as high.
- Legend has it that the emperor’s resting place is surrounded by a moat of mercury, and a scientific examination of the burial mound in 2004-2005 revealed that there is indeed an incredibly high level of mercury present underground, close to where Emperor Qin’s tomb is believed to be.
Next week: the best movies about Emperor Qin and the Terracotta Warriors, including one with Jackie Chan!
Here at Discovery Times Square, we love to showcase history’s most important discoveries. Some of the remarkable experiences we’ve brought to Times Square have included King Tut, the Titanic, Pompeii and the Dead Sea Scrolls—and now we’re thrilled to announce our latest blockbuster—Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China’s First Emperor!
On display at our 44th Street location through the summer and organized with the China Institute, Terracotta Warriors: The Exhibition features life-size clay soldiers and horses created more than 2,000 years ago to protect China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, in his afterlife. Discovered by accident in 1974, thousands of the soldiers—carefully lined up in massive pits, ready to protect their leader—and so many other important artifacts in the Emperor’s tomb complex are still being excavated by archaeologists. To many people, these amazing warriors are considered the Eighth Wonder of the World!
Every Thursday, we’ll be bringing you an inside look at the Terracotta Warriors and the world of China’s first emperor. You’ll learn how the soldiers were made, how the Emperor united a group of warring states to create the China we know today, the incredible mysteries surrounding the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, and so much more.
If you’re in New York City this summer, come visit the Terracotta Warriors in person at Discovery Times Square. Along with the warriors, the exhibition features hundreds of other ancient artifacts (some never seen before in the U.S.), including weapons, jewelry, and bronzes, as well as the world premiere of a beautiful ancient tomb gate. Read our New York Times review here, and purchase individual and group tickets here. Don’t forget to check for updates on our special offers, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have had a wonderful run here in New York City, and if you haven’t had a chance yet to see these remarkable artifacts in person, there’s still time! Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times is on display through Sunday, April 15th. Buy your tickets here, and we hope to see you at Discovery Times Square. Our next remarkable exhibition opens in just a few weeks: stay tuned for details!