Monday, October 19, 2009

Terra Cotta Warriors

While I was in Houston I saw the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the Natural Science Museum. The $24 exhibit fee was pretty steep but I'm glad I spent the money.

The picture above is of a reconstructed set of limestone armor from the First Emperor's tomb mound. The Terra Cotta Warriors were made to accompany the Emperor in his afterlife. Obviously, stone armor would have shattered on impact, not to mention being way too heavy. In fact, the complete sets of armor weren't even on the terra cotta figures, they were on stands in the tomb mound. But some of the terra cotta figures did have partial armor sets shown as part of the detailing of their figure. In reality, the actual warriors had armor of lacquered leather.

The overlapping stone plates are joined with flat copper strips threaded through holes drilled in the stone. It was interesting to see that the upper parts of the armor had the plates overlapping in one direction, then at the waist, where a person would bend, the plates overlap in the other direction.

The picture above shows how the armor looked before it was reconstructed (great patina!) and the picture below shows a Warrior.


ArtPropelled said...

That was interesting thanks Don. I enjoyed seeing the back and how it is all joined. I've had a book on the terracotta soldiers for years and hope that one day I'll get to see them in person.
I'm wondering if your test tiles will be used for armor?

Seth said...

Lovin the surface on the armor! Thanks for the close up!