Chinese terracotta army is of servants, not warriors, claims expert

April 14th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Shaan New Delhi, April 14 (ANI): A Chinese professor has theorized that the famed terracotta army of Xi’an region of the country are not soldiers, but royal servants and bodyguards.

If this theory by Liu Jiusheng at Shaanxi Normal University proves to be true, it might turn China’s most important archeological discovery upside down.

Most historians believe the 2,200-year-old clay statues buried near the emperor’s tomb represent an army custom-made to guard him in the afterlife.

But, according to Jiusheng, they are royal servants and bodyguards, most likely modeled after high-ranking Qin dynasty officials.

Liu argues ordinary soldiers weren’t allowed to get close to the emperor, even in death.

Furthermore, Liu says the figures stand at around 190 cm, much taller than average Chinese past or present. Liu theorizes the clay statues were probably made taller to show their elevated social status.

Though not widely accepted, experts say Liu’s argument is worth studying.

The 1,000-strong terracotta army was discovered near Xi’an in 1974. It was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in December 1987. (ANI)

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