The Mausoleum And Terracotta Army Essay

The Mausoleum And Terracotta Army Essay

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The Mausoleum and Terracotta army are one the biggest pieces of Funerary art ever created. Envisioned by Qin Shi Huang to be his final resting place, these structures were designed to follow him into the after life. Qin was born in 260 BC, was given the thrown when he was thirteen and took power at the age of forty. “Construction of the tomb began in 246 BC, twenty six years later the construction of the terracotta army began” . The tomb and warriors were finished eleven later, followed the emperor’s death in 210 BC. His innermost circle carried the recently deceased emperor into the tomb, and where they were then sealed off with the emperor and covered with dirt. Almost 2 Millennia later and the tomb remands closed. Very little is known about what lies inside the tomb. Aspects of the tomb’s adjacent “burial grounds”, former city walls, and pits containing the terracotta warriors contain clues of what the emperor’s vision of the afterlife would be. This tomb is an example of how culture influences what we create, and how that creation can give incite into how culture shapes us over a lifetime.
The mausoleum took over 720,000 workers almost forty years to complete. These workers came from 3 general groups, Skilled Craftsmen, Prisoners, and people who were in debt to the emperor. “The tomb was designed to be a working model of the empire; with under ground entrances at each of the cardinal directions it was in itself a city. “At the east entrance stood the buried terracotta warriors, and ancient tombs. To the West laid the builders graveyard” Seen in Fig.1. This graveyard is only half a mile from the outer walls of the temple. It has been found to contain many of the workers bones. These tended to be the unskilled or criminal w...


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...e temple. The inside of the temple is an attempt at a recreation of the China, but not the same war ridden culture he learned. Buried with him were “Replicas of palaces, scenic towers, and the hundred officials, as well as rare utensils and wonderful objects.” The construction of the tomb is very important as well jade and mercury that are known to signify immortality were used in the stars, and in the rivers. Even the whale oil lamps were designed to burn forever. Qin Shi Huang wanted to create a superior immortal world, unlike the world he had come from. If Qin Shi had come from another culture or millennia the product of what he envisioned that after life to be like could be wildly different, possibly with an emphasis on art and music, not law and immortality. In this way culture shapes the way we view and interpret art. While art shapes the way we see a culture.

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