At the age of 13 Emperor Qin ordered the construction of his tomb which was to contain 4 pits which would hold a terracota army. The army of over 8000 life size soldiers and horses was created to protect the emperor in the afterlife. In 1974 farmers drilling a well accidentally discovered the 2200 year old army.
Workers hid weapons in the tomb which would go off automatically if anyone tried to steal the treasures buried there. If the workers were allowed to live, they might reveal the secrets of the tomb. When the emperor died all the workmen were entombed along with him.
Qin was so paranoid about dying that he put doctors and scientists to work to develop a potion that would turn him into a god so that he could live forever. The solution they came up with contained mercury which as it turns out, actually led to his death at the age of 50 in 210 BC.
Little boys have always liked to play army, but this is really extreme! Imagine what your 13 year old might demand if he were in charge.
Forbidden Gardens in Katy, Tx has thousands of 1/3 scale terracotta soldiers as well as horses and life size soldiers. Our tour started with the terracotta army which is out the gate to the right of the courtyard. The soldiers are for the most part out in the blazing Texas sun but before we got too hot the tour guide took us to the air conditioned weapons room. From there we went through the gate on the north side of the courtyard which leads into the Forbidden City. Most of the Forbidden City is under a pavillion, in the shade. As you can see from the satellite view, the complex is laid out in such a way that you don't have to walk too much.
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