The Tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di
The Qin Dynasty, under its first ruler, Qin Shi Huang di, would unite China as a single entity for the first time. His rule, which lasted from 221BC to 210BC, would bring together various warring factions under a single imperial authority. In doing so, this imperial authority would also attribute to itself an incredible degree of divine importance as perhaps is best demonstrated by the tomb constructed in his honor. The Qin Dynasty is remarkable for the ego and ambition of its emperor. Qin Shi Huang di may be demonstrated as a man of unparalleled conceit, with the extent of artifact evidence notable at his burial site standing in direct competition with that of any pharaoh or European king. That Qin was the first ruler to unify the parameters of what is now modern China, it may not be seen as so unreasonable that much of the artwork notable from his time was that which was built in tribute to him. Indeed, the beginnings of the Great Wall of China would come about in this time, and would be as much a testament to the remarkable vanity of Qin's ambitions as to the strategic justification for the erection of the enormous structure. However, the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di, contrary to the security-induced Great Wall, remains shrouded in mystery even to the present day. The plans behind its construction, the incredible detail and the sheer cruelty of what is implied by its many chambers give continued life to archeological speculation.