Thursday, September 4, 2014
Laboring in Xi'an - Part 3
Our last day in Xī'ān 西安 was an abbreviated one as we had a 2:30 return flight to Shànghăi 上海 to catch. Making the best use of the limited time we had and using the services of the same taxi driver that we had hired the previous day to take us out to see the Army of Terracotta Warriors, on the way to the airport we stopped off to visit what is arguably Xi'an's most underrated sight - the Tomb of Emperor Jĭngdì 汉阳陵. A relatively benevolent emperor who reigned from 157 to 141 BCE, Jingdi's mausoleum attracts far fewer visitors than the Terracotta Army, which alone would make it a worthwhile stop. But the real attractions are the closer-up views of the excavated pits and the relics within them, and the much less martial overtone of the figurines buried with the emperor.
My daughter poses by the old guard walls
From the outside it's just a hill. But the paved path leads down into the bowels of the tomb and its 21 excavated pits (there are believed to be 81 in total).
The interior of the mausoleum is dimly lit, making for some ghostly images, but the glass floor covering allows visitors a close-up look at the terracotta figurines and pottery that line the bottom of the pits.
A small museum is also located within the tomb (as is also a gift shop)
We were then driven to a larger museum onsite, which contained more examples of the clay statues as well as implements used in daily life that were unearthed from the pits.
Unlike the Army of Terracotta Warriors, Emperor Jingdi's tomb contained a number of female figurines, in the form of these riders.
The more astute of you readers may have noticed that the terracotta figurines were made to be anatomically correct, right down to the eunuchs, like this one. My daughter thought this statue was "damaged". Little did she know just how right she was!
Touching down in Shanghai