One of the must see sights for many people is the Terra Cotta Warriors site in Xian. The Warriors seen here were unearthed in 1974 when three farmers digging a well found them. The site is large and now has four pits unearthed and open to the public. The Warriors were arranged at one time as an army to protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in front of his tomb. The site took 38 years to build with over 700,000 workers. The artisans who constructed his burial room were buried alive in the tomb to keep the location of the room secret. The Tomb itself has never been opened as it has been considered too dangerous having very loose soil contaminated with arsenic to protect the tomb from grave robbers. In a separate building there is a museum of artifacts found in the pits and near the tomb in excellent condition. Well worth the small extra fee to visit it. Located near the airport is a little known site called the Yangling Mausoleum over 2,500 years old. This tomb of Emperor Jingdi of the Western Han Dynasty is actually open and you can enter it to see the inside burial place along with many artifacts well preserved and on display. Because the Terra Cotta Warrior site is so famous, the Yangling Mausoleum often is overlooked and not included in most
tours. As a tour operator I often suggest this site to clients who are interested in history and it is convenient to see it on arrival or departure from the airport. Click on the photo for a full screen view.