The Tomb Of The First Emperor Of China

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Artefacts at a burial site can portray what an ancient culture found important in life and their beliefs about death. Using evidence from the tomb of the First Emperor of China we can gain insight about life in China during his reign. Emperor Qin Shi Huang is arguably the greatest leader in Chinese history. Qin unified China, gave China its name, built large sections of the Great Wall of China, initiated sweeping reforms, improved roadways (Konstam, 2008, p. 123), produced weapons with blast furnaces, abolished serfdom, was China’s first bonafide emperor and imposed standardisation of law, language, currency, measurements, trade and writing (Santon, 2010, p. 249). Conversely the First Emperor ordered all works of literature and philosophy to be burnt (Lindesay & Baofa, 2008, p. 8), and decreed mass murder, destroying anyone who displeased him (Hunt, 2007, p. 205). Most importantly however, Qin is renowned for being buried in the world’s largest tomb in Xian not far from the famous terracotta army, which was created to honour and protect him in the afterlife. This tomb was successfully built to mirror the universe and his empire (White, 2008, p. 337). From his tomb we learn about the religious beliefs, military ranks, weapons, transportation, art practices, advanced technologies and overruling power of the Emperor relevant to the Qin Dynasty. Evidence from the Emperor’s tomb is vital in understanding what life in China was really like during his reign.

The First Emperor’s
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