They are the Teddy Bear warriors!

Terracotta army modelled after the popular toy become tourist attraction

  • Over 500 hand made clay terracotta bears are on display in Wuxi, China
  • The bears are part of a giant clay exhibition which ends mid June
  • The warriors are life size and are joined by horses and chariots

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Over 500 hand made clay terracotta teddy bears have been put on display in eastern China1. The bears are part of a new cultural exhibition in Wuxi, China’s Jiangsu province, reports the People’s Daily Online2. The army is part of a wider exhibition where cultural icons are transformed into teddy bears.

Copy teds! Over 500 clay bears mimicking the Terracotta Warriors are on display in eastern China

Wow! The bears are life-sized according to military rank and are also joined by horses and chariots

The bear army are dressed like thousands of original clay soldiers and are even life sized according to military rank. They are also joined by life sized horses and chariots.

The artwork is part of a larger exhibition called Teddy Star Show with famous singers, politicians and actors turned into fluffy teddy bears. The exhibition space measures around 5,381 square feet and is run by the Korean Teddy Bear Association. The exhibition is held at Wuxi Plaza and will run through until mid June.

Due to its popularity, it may tour the country. Cute army: The bear army are dressed like thousands of original clay soldiers and are even life sized

A show to remember: The exhibition takes place at Wuxi Plaza in the city of Wuxi, eastern China

The bears look a lot like the original Terracotta Warriors which are based in Xi’an, north west China

The original terracotta army was first discovered by accident in 1974 by farmers in the Lintong District of Xi’an. Archaeologists have uncovered four distinct pits each around 23 feet deep the largest of which contained 6,000 of the terracotta warriors.

The second pit is thought to contain the cavalry and archers, although only 120 figures have been recovered so far. The third pit contained the tallest figures and are thought to be the generals and officers while the fourth pit appears to have been left empty. The army is thought to have been built to protect Emperor Qin Shihuang after his death and were positioned just under a mile east of his burial mound.

The soldiers were laid out as if to protect the tomb from invaders to the east the states where the Qin Emperor had conquered. Along with the figures themselves which were so detailed that their armour bear rivets and their shoes have treads there were numerous weapons found. Many of the swords and spears were found to be still sharp and a coating of chromium dioxide had managed to keep them rust free.

Wonder: The original terracotta army was first discovered by accident in 1974 by farmers in Xi’an

Amazing history: The soldiers were laid out as if to protect the tomb from invaders to the east

THE TERRACOTTA WARRIORS

The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the First Emperor in 210 to 209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. Arguably the most famous archaeological site in the world, it was discovered by chance by villagers in 1974, and excavation has been on-going at the site since that date. An extraordinary feat of mass-production, each figure was given an individual personality although they were not intended to be portraits.

The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. Current estimates are that there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried. Since 1998, figures of terracotta acrobats, bureaucrats, musicians and bronze birds have been discovered on site.

They were designed to entertain the Emperor in his afterlife they are of crucial importance to our understanding of his attempts to control the world even in death.

References

  1. ^ China (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ People’s Daily Online (en.people.cn)

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