On Display: China’s Terracotta Warriors Making Their Way to Chicago


In March, Chicagoans will be getting a rare treat with the opportunity to see China’s 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warrior Statues on display at the Field Museum. These iconic and important relics have been a part of a traveling exhibition and are one of China’s most popular tourist attractions. It will be the first time since 1980 that the statues will be in Chicago and this will be their only North American stop this year.

The statues depict the army of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. The Terracotta Army was buried along with the emperor in his tomb so that they could protect him in the afterlife. It wasn’t until 1974 that the first of the 8,000 clay soldiers were found by a group of farmers in northwest China, just outside the city of Xi’an. The original site now stands as the Terracotta Army Museum. Over the past 41 years, excavations and new discoveries have still been taking place.

Along with the soldiers, who were equipped with real bronze weapons, there were other statues within the tomb, including non-military figures like acrobats and musicians as well as horses and chariots.

Chicago’s Field Museum has been working to secure such an exhibition for years. It will be entitled “China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors.” The exhibit will include 10 of the statues specially selected by Field Museum officials, and although the warriors will be an important feature, they will not be the sole focus. As a whole, the exhibit will also take a look at the life and reign of Qin Shi Huang and how the ruler unified the warring country.

The attraction is already expected to be a big draw for visitors. Tickets go on sale in January and the exhibit officially opens its doors March 4th. The Warriors will be on display until January 8th, 2017-- travelers headed to Chicago over the next year will not want to miss out on this!

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