"Pit 1" Terracotta Army Tip by Willettsworld

Terracotta Army, Xi'an: 162 reviews and 358 photos

Pit No.1, the most famous of the three, was discovered by local villagers in March 1974 who were drilling for wells on a piece of barren land. They found fragments of terracotta warriors and many bronze weapons. These discoveries received much attention and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage sent a team of archaeologists and conservation experts to perform a site visit, and organised Shaanxi archaeologists to perform a full-scale excavation of the site.

In order to protect the find, a large arched hall with a steel frame was built above the pit in 1976. Covering an area of 19,136 square yards, the hall has provided the pit with good ventilation and daylight conditions. Inside the hall, Terra Cotta Pit No.1 is an east-west rectangular pit, measuring 252 yards long, 68 yards wide and 16 feet deep. There are five sloping entrances on both the eastern and western sides. Two side doors are installed on the northern and southern sides. Every three yards, there is a puddle wall, which separates the underground army into different columns. The walls, the earliest discovered in China, were fortified with wooden columns, earth and reeds while the floor was covered with black bricks.

There are over 8,000 terracotta warriors and horses in Pit 1, of which 1,000 have been unearthed. They are marshalled into a well-organized battle array composed of the infantry and cavalry. The vanguard includes 210 foot soldiers divided equally into three lines. The cavalry and war chariot follow close in line, forming the main body of the battle formation. The foot soldiers are alternated with the chariots drawn by horses, lined into 38 columns. On both the northern and southern sides of the war formation stand 180 warriors which serve as flank guards. The rear guards are on the western end, with two lines facing east and another facing west. Some soldiers are armed with battle robes, and some are equipped with armour.

Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: RMB90.

Website: http://www.bmy.com.cn

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Sep 5, 2009
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“"Don't listen to what they say. Go see." ~ Chinese proverb”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 5 2

Have you been to Xi'an?

  Share Your Travels