Qin Shihuangdi Terracotta

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When Qin Shihuangdi died in 210 B.C.E., he left behind a legacy that revealed the power he displayed in the form of thousands of terracotta warriors and other figures. As the first Chinese emperor, these sculptures reflect the political power he had, as well as give a glimpse of the wealth enjoyed but the emperor in the third century. The terra cotta army shows Qin Shihuangdi’s success as an emperor, but also shows the firm and possibly unfair rule that he displayed during his time as emperor. The tomb of the emperor and the fine quality of the artifacts found inside offer a show of the success and wealth of the first emperor of China. The terracotta army itself is a marvel of craftsmanship. There are archers, infantrymen, generals,…show more content…
This, unfortunately, was a harsh rule with little to no capacity to rebel against it. This can be seen in the elements of how the tomb and the terracotta warriors and other figures were constructed. It has been determined that around seven hundred thousand (700,000) laborers would have been utilized in the building of the tomb and artifacts found inside.3 These laborers would have had to begin the building of the tomb and sculpture of the elements inside the tomb well in advance of the death of the emperor. Unfortunately, this was not a voluntary service. Most of the artisans and workers would have been drafted or conscripted into the service of the government.4 This type of conscription shows the firm and unfair rule of Qin Shihuangdi, as these artisans did not have a say in their conscription to the work of the emperor. The tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, and its impressive terracotta army, reveal a ruler who succeeded in uniting many different people. However, this rule was carried on the backs of conscripted laborers and artisans who did not have a choice in their service. This conscription, along with the wealth devoted to the tomb of the emperor, also reveal a ruler with a harsh and iron fisted rule over his people. While his rule was only temporarily successful, his tomb and the artifacts found inside paint a picture of vast political power, despite his harsh treatment of the people over which he
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