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Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb: Chariot horse

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Along with 7,000-some terracotta warriors, over 10,000 objects (figures, weapons, incense burners, instruments, and more) have been found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb. “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” features over 120.

To highlight these objects, we present to you Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb.

Chariot Horse, Qin dynasty (221–06 BCE), Terracotta, length 213 cm, height 171cm, width 55cm. Excavated from Pit 1, Qin Shihuang tomb complex, 1978. Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum 002545. The images are produced with kind permission from the Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, ©Photograph by Xia Juxian and Guo Yan

Chariot horses were deployed four abreast. Virtually nothing of the wooden war chariots they once pulled has survived except bronze chariot fittings and fragments of harnesses. The round opening in the side of each life-size horse let heat escape to prevent the hollow clay sculptures from cracking during firing.

Visit “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” to see this object (and many more!) in person. Pick up a copy of the exhibition catalogue to learn more about the First Emperor and his captivating mausoleum.

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