Thursday, September 30, 2010


Tuesday evening I went to a 2 hour lecture on The First Emperor and his place in the history of China. Material touched on the first settlement along the Yellow River, on culture, arts, war etc right up to the time of discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors.

The tomb of Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC)personal name Ying Zheng, has always been know but the discovery of the extent of the material buried around it was unknown until the 1970's and continues today.

Yesterday after a stuck in traffic bus ride, typical between here and Toronto, we had time for a quick look through a small part of the Royal Ontario Museum before eating a very tasty catered lunch and entering the exhibit hall to wander and marvel at a display of artifacts from earlier periods and presentations on the lead-in to the kingdom founded by The First Emperor.

The second section contained the Terra Cotta warriors, horses, stone armour and weapons. Everything was well labelled and there were video presentations that provided a good understand of everything on display.

This is one of the generals in the exhibit. I could walk all around the figure, he was not behind glass so every bit of detail was visible.

There was a similar figure on display where I could see the great detail in the armour and in the hair. It was as if each strand had been textured.

The horses ( this is an example of what we saw ) were well sculpted with strong jaw bones, groomed manes and tails -- I wanted one!

The complex around his actual tomb mound is massive and holds not only the trenches of warriors but of a court to sustain him in the afterlife. A figure of an acrobat and a court figure were on display, as well this or a similar bird seen below, that was found along with others resting on the bank of his underground river.

I spent so much time in the first two sections that I had to do a rather fast walk through the final exhibit on the Han dynasty that came into power shortly after the death of the Emperor.

I came home with eye and brain fatigue and thrilled from the experience.

Having the lecture, the tour, transportation and lunch all taken care of made it so easy and enjoyable that I have now booked myself to go and see
Maharaja:The Splendour of India's Royal Courts in late January at the Art Gallery of Ontario, again in Toronto. The same history professor will be giving the lecture so I know it will give me good insight into what I will be seeing.


Jayne said...

Feral kidlet said the tomb has lakes and rivers of mercury (with the emperor's coffin on an island in the centre of the mercury), that the ceiling of the tomb is studded with precious gems to resemble the stars, each terracotta warrior was individual and based on a real soldier and they are still finding more but have yet to get to the emperor himself.
I'd love to see that exhibition, you're so lucky, Elizabeth!

Kathleen said...

Wow. What a wonderful opportunity to see something so amazing! I would love to see the one on India too...lucky lady!
On a side note: while I've not been blogging for a long time, I'm giving it another go and if you like, you can find me at:


As of yesterday the exhibit will go to Montreal but will not go west. The Chinese want it home with less time and mileage on it. Too bad, I was going to recommend it to my nieces in BC.

Jayne - tell FK that I am still working my brain around lots of what I saw and heard and that I am still fitting it all into the correct time frame as it relates to the rest of the world.

Took me long enough to just sign myself up and not wait for anyone else to decide if they were interested. Seems I don't have any trouble meeting others when I head off alone. *grin*