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The terracotta warriors and horses, created about 2,200 years ago, were found in 1974 on the east side of the tomb of the First Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 BC - 210 BC) near Xi'an. The site is now the famous Terra-cotta Museum, which consists of three main buildings, Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3. The three pits occupy an area of 22,000 square meters, housing about 8,000 life-size pottery warriors and horses.
Pit 1 is the largest of the three. It contains over 6,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses in a practical battle formation, which is the main force of the underground army. Pit 2, discovered in 1976, contains more than 1,300 pottery figures, which are specialized military forces, including archers, chariots, and cavalries. Pit 3 is the smallest of the three, containing only 68 pottery figures and one chariot. Pit 3 is the command center of the entire army.
The terracotta warriors are about 1.8 meters in height on average. Each of them has an individualized appearance, characterized mainly by its facial features, such as the mouth, hairstyle and facial expression. Experts believe they are modeled on real soldiers.
About 600 satellite pits and tombs have been unearthed in the surrounding area of the tomb of the First Emperor since the discovery of terracotta warriors and horses in 1974. Thirty-one pits of rare animals and birds and 98 sets of the stable pits have been unearthed.