Skip to Main Content

Exciting investigations in northwest China are about to reveal more of the mysteries of the huge mausoleum of the Qin Emperor, a portion of which was accidentally discovered in 1974 by farmers who were digging a well. The second phase of an international research project began in 2011, and more recently, promising new excavations began in Pit 2, with exciting fresh discoveries already announced. The Terracotta Warriors seeks to examine one of China’s most famous archaeological discoveries in light of these new findings.The book begins with the discovery of the terracotta warriors and then tells the history of the Qin Dynasty and as much as is known about the construction of the third century BCE mausoleum, based on the work of the historian Sima Qian (145–90 BCE). He wrote that the First Emperor was buried with palaces, towers, officials, valuable artifacts, and wondrous objects. The new findings and the historical description of the mausoleum suggest that the next discoveries may surpass the size and conception of the original discovery of the terracotta warriors. In the second part, Edward Burman questions who built the warriors, how, and what purpose they served. Finally, he anticipates the ongoing discoveries and describes the new methods of excavation and preservation.

Edward Burman holds a degree in Philosophy and Fine Art from the University of Leeds. He has published eighteen books, most recently Xi’an Through European Eyes: A Cultural History in the Year of the Horse. Since 2014, Edward has been a Trustee of the Xi’an City Wall Heritage Foundation; he is the only foreign trustee. He lives in England.