Today I went to the High Museum in Atlanta with S. and E. to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit. This is the second place the warriors have traveled outside of China; the exhibit came here from the British Museum. The warriors date from 210 BC and were made for China's First Emperor. There are over 8,000 figures of generals, cavalry, infantry, musicians and civil officials, and horses, birds, chariots, and more that were made to protect the First Emperor in the afterlife. Here is the Wikipedia entry for an overview. It is a truly amazing archaeological discovery. The site is over 22 miles square (the size of Manhattan) and only a portion of the site has been excavated.(This soldier and horse were in the exhibit.)
I have been fascinated with the terracotta warriors since undergrad when we studied the site in my world archaeology class. This amazing site was unknown for over 2,000 years until a farmer discovered it in 1974. Can you imagine? I am fascinated by the fact that each figure was individualized with different facial features and hair styles and expressions. Even the horses have different expressions and mane and tail lengths. These figures were all painted in bright, vivid realistic paint and I imagine if you saw this in 210 BC it would look like a living army!
I bought the exhibit guide which has a lot more detail about the history, discovery, and artifacts. If you are anywhere near Atlanta, you need to see this exhibit!
While at the High, we also saw the latest installment of the Louvre exhibit. This time, there was a really great Vermeer (The Astronomer) and two drawings by Michelangelo.