Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di’s Mausoleum

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Qin Shi Haung Di was the first emperor of the Qin Empire in China during the 3rd century BCE. Born in 261 BCE, Haung inherited the throne from his father at the early age of 13 and showcased his ambitious spirit by unifying China and creating his empire (Swart 1984). While he is known mostly for building the Great Wall of China, he also left quite a legacy when it comes to his elaborate burial grounds. In 246 BCE, thirty-six years before his death in 210 BCE, Emperor Qin started planning the construction of his extravagant final resting place (Swart 1984). The Emperor’s mausoleum was essentially a small, underground city showcasing Qin’s power and influence using different artistic mediums. The site of Emperor Haung’s tomb is located in…show more content…
This shows us that the belief in the magical and unknown, like death, was of some importance to the Emperor. Artistically, Emperor Qin final resting place is a goldmine of information. Not only were the sculptures ornate and somewhat realistic – especially for the time period they were created in – most of them were actually painted so they would be more colorful (Patel 2007). Every terracotta warrior was painted after they were sculpted. What is most amazing about the painting of the warriors was the fact that their color selection included purple. While there were red and blue pigments that could be mixed, the ancient world never mastered a true purple color, except for a brief time in China during the Qin and Han dynasties (Patel 2007). The color itself was discovered in 1992 and is a purple barium copper silicate inorganic pigment that was manmade in the early 3rd century BCE. Other than being painted onto terracotta warriors, this unique color was also found on decorative pieces and pottery in Qin’s tomb (Fitzhugh 1992). The pigment created was described as a “technological wonder, a complex synthetic compound made before the invention of paper or any codified understanding of elemental chemistry” (Patel 2007 p. 25). The creation and usage of Chinese purple on elements in Qin’s tomb provided knowledge to us that was previously unknown about artistry in

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