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Terracotta Warriors Museum

Friday, February 26th, 2010
Unarmoured Terracotta Warrior
Unarmoured Terracotta Warrior

Dorchester has a marvellous collection of specialist museums to delight and educate visitors, including the Dinosaur Museum, Mummies Museum, Dorset County Museum and Teddy Bear Museum.

To add to this list is a particular favourite of mine, the Terracotta Warriors Museum situated at the lower end of High East Street. This small but inspiring exhibition focuses on the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor of China and explores the remarkable discovery of these amazing treasures of ancient China – now regarded as the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World.

Discovering the Terracotta Warriors

The discovery of the Terracotta Warriors in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, has gripped the imagination of people around the world.

The Terracotta Warriors were created by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi who conquered and united China to become its First Emperor. He built the Great Wall of China and amassed great works of art. The Emperor was obsessed with immortality, and 70,000 workers built his tomb and installed 8000 fantastic life-size clay warriors to protect it. The warriors stand up to 2 metres tall and weigh up to 300 kilograms.

If you have been fortunate to make the journey to the site at Xian in Shaanxi Province you will never forget the experience. Closer to home, adults and children of all ages can enjoy the Terracotta Warriors Museum one of the few museums outside China exclusively dedicated to the amazing Terracotta Warriors.

The Terracotta Warrior Displays

The Terracotta Warriors Museum displays are in 9 sections and tell the story of the discovery and excavation of the tomb. Displays include exact replicas of the life-size Terracotta Warriors and their armour. Dramatic audio and multi-media presentations will entertain and educate, and bring the whole experience stunningly to life. You can also experience a journey through Chinese history illustrated with antiquities covering two millennia. Children can meet General Meng Tian and Qin Shi Huangdi with their fabulous costumes and the Royal Guard uniformed officers.

All the Terracotta Warriors displayed in the museum have been specially made for the exhibition by the technicians of the Lintong Museum Cultural Relic Workshop, Xian, China, as well as workshops of the China National Arts & Crafts Corporation, Xian. The figures with their astounding detail are in all respects identical to the original terracotta warriors having been made near the Emperor’s tomb in the same clay and fired in the same way as the originals. The hands and the heads of the Terracotta Warriors were made separately, and each head is reputed to be different and individual.

Own your very own Terracotta Warrior
Own your very own Terracotta Warrior from the Museum Shop

The Terracotta Warriors featured in the display comprise various types, including crossbowmen, kneeling bowmen, a charioteer, an officer and a general. The entire exhibit is extremely impressive and is accompanied by audio programmes which help bring the discovery to life.

The Terracotta Warriors Museum is open all year round, Monday to Sunday, April to October 10.00am to 5.00pm and in November to March 10.00am to 4:30pm.

Admission is £5.75 per adult, Children £4.00 (under 5 years free), Seniors/Students £5.00 and a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) is £18.00.

On the Terracotta Warriors Museum website you can print a voucher entitling you to a 50p discount on entry tickets.

The specialist shop within the Terracotta Museum, offers authentic Terracotta army figurines recreated by Chinese craftsmen, as well as pottery, postcards and general Exhibition gifts. Most items are also available on the Terracotta Museum online shop.

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