The Terracotta Army, unearthed in 1974, is one of the most exciting archaeological finds in recent history.
The figures represent the soldiers of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. They had been placed in his tomb, an earthen pyramid mound, which was excavated beneath Mount Li.
Construction had begun when the emperor was a child – it took many years to build. The tomb represents the royal palace, and the figures Inside, court residents.
Beside the warriors, archaeologists found models of officials and entertainers. There are 8,000 soldiers, each depicted with weapons such as spears, bows and arrows.
Artisans first made the limbs and heads which were then fired in a kiln. Once assembled, the models were painted and coated with a preservative, but only some colours are still visible.
Each figure was given individual features, with details added to the hair and clothes; artists even added muscle tone to the arms and legs.
The height of the soldier depended on his rank – ie the military generals are the tallest figures in the group.