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Terra Cotta Warriors

  • Terra Cotta Warriors
    Experts believe there are more than 8,000 Terra Cotta Warriors.
    China's first emperor ordered the creation of the warriors to protect him in the after-life. The tomb complex is 5 acres (that's 4 football fields!) and took more than 700,000 laborers an estimated 40 years to build.
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
    Archaeologists also found terra cotta horses.
    Experts estimate that there are more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses. They also found acrobats, musicians, and birds.
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
    The warriors were originally painted in bold, vibrant colors.
    Few examples of what the warriors originally looked like remain. The exhibit features the head of one figure with a significant amount of the paint still apparent (though faded)—a rare artifact to see outside of China!
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
    Each of the 8,000 warriors had unique facial features.
    The warriors were hand-crafted making each of them unique. One researcher suggested the faces were actually portraits of real people or even self-portraits of the craftsmen who made them.
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
    Scientists are using technology to preserve the paint.
    Until recently, the paint on the warriors would peel off within minutes of being exposed to air. Now scientists use groundbreaking technology to preserve the delicate pigments.

Terra Cotta WarriorsThrough Nov. 2, 2014

An army of thousands, buried for centuries, protecting an emperor’s tomb—come see the Terra Cotta Warriors in their only U.S. appearance in 2014! This exclusive exhibit tells the astounding story of the tomb complex of China’s first emperor, and features real Terra Cotta Warriors, considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. Examine more than 100 ancient artifacts and enjoy hands-on interactives that will let families become part of the research team and explore the scientific research underway that helps us picture the army in its original vibrant colors.

Timed entry exhibit; additional ticket purchase required. To accommodate school groups, public entry begins at 11:45 a.m. on week days.

Buy Tickets

Located on Level 2.

Become a donor member at the Discovery Builder level and above and receive complimentary Terra Cotta Warriors tickets, and many other special benefits. See the benefits of all membership levels and decide which is right for your family!

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Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army is presented by Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.