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AAA & CCLS: Wang: What Was the Terracotta Army For?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 6:30 PM

The First Emperor’s tomb complex, with its auxiliary pits filled with thousands of life-size terracotta figures, has been hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Other than the massive scale of the underground formation, what is it that we should really wonder about? Mysteries abound. Join Professor Eugene Y. Wang of Harvard University to explore; why do these figures wear strange slanting hairdo rarely seen at the time? Why do the terracotta army and the emperor’s “spirit carriages” face opposite directions? If the body is unreliable, as studies of Chinese belief indicate, how was afterlife imagined? Was the tomb complex really about the preservation of the emperor’s corpse? Was the terracotta army there to defend the First Emperor’s tomb?

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