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Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb: Suit of Armor

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.

Suit of Armour; Qin dynasty (221?06 BCE); Limestone; Height 77cm, Width 50cm; Excavated from Pit K9801 in Qin Shihuang’s tomb complex, 1999; Shaanxi provincial institute of archaeology 007094; The image is produced with kind permission from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre.

This limestone body armor and the helmet were reconstructed from fragments found in a pit thought to be the armory, not far from the tomb mound. The armor consists of more than six hundred stone plaques laced together with copper wire. Excavation is ongoing, with over 130 stone suits of armor with helmets discovered to date. Stone armor was too heavy to wear into battle; it was made for burial. Combat armor was made of leather or metal.

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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