Both the Terracotta Army and the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi are marvelous imperial tombs in China, which uncover the mysterious yet exquisite funeral system of ancient China.In some ways, the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi inherited some excellent methods of the manufacturing process used for the Terracotta Army. Nevertheless, there are some evident differences worth discovering.
Different Construction Times
The Terracotta Army — Built in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC)
As soon as the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, inherited the throne from his father (246 BC), he began to build the grand Terracotta Army. After he unified the six states in 221 BC, he employed more laborers (700,000 laborers) to build his imperial tomb. The project had such a huge scale that it lasted for about 40 years, and it still hadn't been completed when Emperor Qin Shi Huang died.
The Tomb of Emperor Jingdi — Built in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD)
The Tomb of Emperor Jingdi was built in 153 BC with the construction lasting for 28 years. It was built for Emperor Liu Qi (122–141 BC) who was the fourth emperor in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD).
Different Styles of Sacrificial Figurines
Different historic backgrounds caused the different styles of sacrificial figurines between the Terracotta Army and the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi.
The Terracotta Army — Male, Powerful, and Military
All of the Terracotta Army’s figurines are male and retained a powerful appearance. This is because the military infantry were the dominant section in the military, so being male and having a powerful appearance were necessary factors at that time. This style not only embodies the epitome of the historic background but also implies the thought process and characters of people in the Qin Dynasty.Therefore, every traveler who visited the Terracotta Army could experience the imposing war atmosphere that could only be delivered by the strong Qin Dynasty.
The Tomb of Emperor Jingdi — Varied, Colorful, and Full of Vitality
In contrast to the Terracotta Army, the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi contains female sculptures, official sculptures, and a number of maids on horseback. They are full of vitality. Different maid sculptures have been painted in different colors and have different poses. Why is it so different in its sculptural style? The reason is Emperor Liu Qi maintained the country’s stability and promoted the development of the economy. Therefore, all of the pottery figurines were made to look happy, peaceful, and full of vitality.
No matter which burial pits the figurines are in or the type of military appearance they depict, all the statues are huge, solemn, and magnificent. The red pottery figurines of the Terracotta Army are as big as real people. However, the pottery sculptures in the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi are a third of the size of a real person.
The Terracotta Army — Solemn Yet a Little Stiff
Except for some kneeling archers, most of the pottery warriors retain a static posture. They seem so solemn, serious, powerful, and even a little stiff that visitors are awed by the sight of them.
The Tomb of Emperor Jingdi — Dynamic and Lively
Compared with the solemn warriors of the Terracotta Army, the figurines from the Han Dynasty are more dynamic and lively. Some of them are walking, some are running, and some of them are stooping. They are dynamic and full of vitality.
The horse sculptures of the Terracotta Army are rounded with short legs and short hooves, which implies they were good at walking and running. But the horse sculptures in the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi have totally different appearances. Their hips are very high, and they have long, thin legs. This implies they were good at running but not very adept at pulling vehicles.
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