Near the village of Xi’an, tales from ancient times were told about ghosts who lived underground. In 1974, two farmers digging a well to water their crops thought those tales had come true when they discovered a ghostly figure from the past. Unknowingly, they had discovered one of the most important archeological finds seen in China. They had found part of the burial site of Qin Shi Huang. Their “ghost” was actually one of the soldiers which the emperor had ordered to be built.
The creation of this army was an incredible feat. Approximately 700,000 workers were ordered to construct the army, which was created from materials found on Mount Lishan in China. The emperor insisted that no two soldiers look alike, which accounts for the great number of citizens involved in the project. The parts of the soldiers were constructed separately, and were then put together. Clay was used to create the various facial features and hair styles. The terra cotta soldiers were life size, and possessed swords and spears. In addition, other figures created include a cavalry, archers, horses and chariots. In all, there were approximately 8,000 figures created to accompany and protect the emperor during his journey to the afterlife. It was also rumored that those who created the figures were buried with them to keep the terra cotta army a secret.