Warriors, Officials and Entertainers

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2 7 Warriors, Officials and Entertainers The Terracotta Men and Their Roles 156 Armin Selbitschka The Production Techniques, Conservation and Restoration of the Terracotta Figures 164 Catharina Blänsdorf, Linda Zachmann

3 156 The Qin Empire and the Tomb Complex of the First Emperor The Terracotta Men and Their Roles Armin Selbitschka It would be too simple to attribute only a single role to the terracotta figures of the First Emperor ( BC ). This is due to the fact that tomb figures always fulfilled several functions in a burial context. First and foremost, the individual role of the figure should be mentioned. Who or what did the figure embody? Which specific areas of responsibility did they represent? In the case of the innumerable figures contained within the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huangdi, it is obviously of importance to ask which role the individual characters fulfilled within a particular group of sculptures. It is of interest to know, of course, what these models actually were and what function they had. Why were they buried at all? What mentality lies behind their creation? The following pages will discuss these questions in turn. degrees in relation to the front leg to guarantee a firm and steady stance. One of the arms is stretched downwards from the shoulder to the hand, whereas the second arm is bent at chest height. The fingers are bent inwards towards the hand forming a grip. Even though no actual bow was unearthed, these figures can be unmistakably identified as archers. They give the impression that they have just spanned their bow and are poised to take aim. Their kneelength battle coats, which were fastened at the right hand side with a leather belt and bronze belt hook, guaranteed the necessary freedom of movement ( fig. 48 ). 212 The thick wadding of the coats offered a certain amount of protection against arrows. 213 Relatively similarly dressed and equally unarmoured warriors fulfilled other functions. For example, figures with a bent arm and hand that grasps a no-longer-preserved weapon can be understood, even without the 48 Unarmoured archer hand is slightly unnatural from different angles, as it is held too low. line drawing The wooden bows of the The figure seems to be archers in the First Emperor s tomb complex are spanning the string of a bow with his right hand. not preserved. The position of the left Individual Roles of the Terracotta Men First, let us devote our attention to the most famous of the terracotta figures, namely the estimated eight-thousand-strong army of the First Emperor. As is generally well known, it was found at a considerable distance away from the tomb precinct and was split up into three shafts. A fourth pit was constructed but remained unoccupied ( map 11, Nos. 5, 1 4 ). Generic terms such as army or warrior by no means reveal the duties of the individual. Therefore, we have to take a closer look at the figures. It then becomes apparent that two types of armed forces can be distinguished in the three shafts : infantry and cavalry. The infantrymen occasionally include archers, the only group of figures so far not to be modelled in a frontal view. Positioned stepping forward, they turn their torsos, which are slightly tilted forwards and to the side. The rear leg is turned ninety

4 The Terracotta Men and Their Roles 157 corresponding military equipment, as holders of dagger-axes or lances. Several of them appear to have once held a sword in the other hand. Others in almost identical clothing and stance function as crossbowmen : this can be deduced from bronze arrows and remains of the crossbow ( cf. cat. 101 and cat. 102 ) uncovered in the immediate vicinity of the warriors. 214 Their armoured comrades-in-arms essentially fulfilled comparable duties. There were men armed with dagger-axes, lancers ( fig. 49 ) as well as crossbowmen. Many of the figures with long blade weapons for long-range combat the dagger-axes and lances once measured at least 3 m were also equipped with an additional sword so that they were able to stand their ground in close-range combat. Unlike their unarmoured counterparts, the armoured archers are not standing ready to shoot but seem to be poised kneeling and lying in wait ( fig. 50 ; cf. cat. 131 ). Remains of wooden bows and bronze crossbow bolts found in the area around them clearly prove their function. On the torsos of these figures, the collars of knee-length garments can be made out underneath the armoury. The legs of both the armoured and the unarmoured figures are wrapped in trousers and thick leather pads often protect their shins. This can, for example, be observed on the standing archers. In other cases, puttees are wound around the lower leg. The feet of the warriors are clad with either rectangular low shoes or boots with high shafts. The scale armour, which was generally constructed like the stone armour from Pit No. K9801 ( see Chapter 6 ), had shoulder straps and came down over the chest, ending below waist height. In this way, the soft tissues of the upper body were protected to a certain degree. The back parts of many suits of armour are slightly shorter to provide enough flexibility when walking. 215 Although the number varied greatly, all three pits contained four-in-hand wooden chariots. The crew of these single-axle chariots 216 usually consist of three figures : a charioteer, a commanding officer and a heavily armed warrior for protection. 217 These were mainly deposited behind the chariot and not on it : three larger than life-size warriors next to one another would have simply been too heavy and too wide for the ca. 1.4 m-narrow chariot body. The armoured drivers are easily recognizable due to their position and stance. They stand upright 49 Armoured dagger-axe bearer in frontal view, line drawing (left) In the pits containing the terracotta warriors and horses, the wooden staffs of the thrusting weapons are not preserved. The fact that dagger-axe bearers once held such weapons is attested, however, by the position of the hand. In the vicinity of many figures, the bronze parts of weapons were found. 50 Armoured kneeling archer from different angles, bronze arrows were with arrows. Numerous line drawing (below) excavated in the area The archer shown here around the archers held his bow in his left in the First Emperor s hand. In his right hand he tomb complex. probably held a quiver

5 158 The Qin Empire and the Tomb Complex of the First Emperor between the other two sculptures. They stretch their forearms to the front as if they were still holding the reins. Additional flaps at the sleeve ends of the armour worn by several drivers protect their hands from falling arrows ( fig. 51 ). Others, on the other hand, had to make do with sleeveless chest armour ( cf. cat. 130 ). 218 The similarly armoured protecting warriors were often located at the right hand side of the charioteer. Their posture shows them to be carriers of a long pole weapon and a sword ( fig. 52 ). 219 To the left of the driver, the commanding officers, often referred to as generals, were positioned. At first glance, a figure from Pit No. 1 seems to be unarmed ( fig. 53 ; 51 Armoured charioteer with protective flaps over the hands in side view, line drawing The hands of the charioteers in the tomb complex were stretched out in front of them. It is unclear whether they actually held reins as the chariot crews stood behind the wooden carriage and not on it. Charioteers had a high standing in the Qin army. cf. cat. 129 ). The position of his flat left hand held roughly level with the navel indicates that it once rested on the hilt of a sword. The discovery of a hilt belonging to a similar bronze weapon next to the figure confirms this impression. The right hand rests loosely on the left hand. The officer signals to his subordinates with an outstretched index finger. With that said, another role of the figures has been referred to : the functioning of armed forces always depends on the abidance of strict hierarchies. Naturally, this is also the case with the terracotta army. The different ranks of the warriors are primarily distinguished by the headgear ( fig. 54 ). The elaborately folded cap of the commanding officer, also known as the pheasant-tail cap, stands out against the more simple models of the charioteers. The higher 52 Protecting warrior of the chariot crew, the in frontal and side view, rank of an officer is line drawing recognizable by the socalled long cap. In the case of protecting warriors as members rank of the former is therefore not only recognizable by the subtle posture of command. Hierarchical differences become apparent when comparing the chariot crews, for example, with the unarmoured archers described above, whose heads are not decorated with any headgear. Instead, the hair of these figures is woven in several strands at the back of the head and artistically joined in a knot on the side of their head. Even in the case of the warriors hairstyles, many different kinds can be discerned. As children of the post-modern era, we should not misunderstand this circumstance as an expression of individuality. On the contrary, it should be viewed as a further means to accentuate the differences of hierarchy. Moreover, a comparison of the armoured commanding officer with simple, unarmoured infantrymen or 53 Commanding officer Intricately folded ( general ) in frontal pheasant-tail caps were view, line drawing reserved for individuals with high rank.

6 The Terracotta Men and Their Roles 159 Commanding officer Officer Warrior Warrior Warrior Groom ( General ) 54 Hairstyle of various The diverse hairstyles of terracotta figures, the terracotta figures indicate the status of their line drawing wearers within the hierarchy of the Qin state. figures with different armoury shows that the type of armour obviously depended on the military status of the wearer. 220 In Chapter 6, it was made clear that the offertory pits of the funeral complex of Qin Shi Huangdi not only included figures of warriors but also of individuals who played a less martial role, such as in Pit No. K0006, where figures in knee-length garments stood in a row against the south wall of a wooden installation. Eight have their hands interlocked in wide sleeves in front of their stomach, whereas four figures stretch their forearms in front of them at a right angle ( fig. 55 ; cf. cat. 136 ). The latter give the impression of offering something to an imaginary person striding past. The sculptures with their hands hidden wear long caps ( changguan ) on their heads. Attached to their belts are knives with ring-shaped pommels and long flat stones. This type of knife served to correct writing mistakes on bamboo and wood strips. Incorrect or superfluous characters were simply scratched away with the blade. It was also important to have grindstones at hand at all times to be able to sharpen the knife. The knives and grindstones identify the figures as civil officials, whereas the long caps mark them as holders of a relatively high rank. Their function was presumably to record important events in the empire and to document administrative procedures. 221 Similar sculptures came to light in the L-shaped shaft that is located to the west of K0006 between the inner and outer wall of the precinct. Just as a reminder : the remains of several hundred horses were scattered over the floor of this shaft ( see Chapter 6 ). The figures are also wrapped in knee-length garments and have long caps on their heads. They also hide their hands in the wide sleeves of their clothing. Merely the typical knives are not mentioned in any of the reports. In spite of this, it is unmistakeable that we are dealing here with officials who were entrusted with the administration of a large stable. 222 The next two groups of figures are of a completely different nature. On the one hand, Pit No. K9901 yielded particularly lightly clothed sculptures with colourfully painted loincloths in imitation of valuable multicolour patterned silks ( jin ) ( see also Chapters 6 and the second part of Chapter 7 ). The eleven figures stand upright on their base slabs. Many hold one arm in the air or lift the heel of one foot from the ground, thereby conveying the impression of movement ( see cat. 137 ). In contrast, others have their arms crossed in front of their stomachs ( fig. 56 ). They seem to be waiting for their cue. Presumably, we are dealing with acrobats here. Under the present circumstances, the type 55 Officials in frontal and The long sleeves, concealing the hands, identify side view, line drawing the figures as civil officials. of performance selected to amuse the Emperor in the afterlife can only be speculated upon. Perhaps they played music instruments, showed their gymnastic skills or even exercised in physical contests. 223 On the other hand, musicians came to light in the pit with the bronze water birds ( K0007 ). They had been placed in niches lined with wooden planks in the side walls of the pit. They are clothed in knee-length garments and trousers. Simple caps conceal the hair parting as well as hair knots on the backs of their heads. Seven sculptures were modelled in a kneeling position (cf.cat. 138). One of their

7 160 The Qin Empire and the Tomb Complex of the First Emperor arms is bent upwards to head height, whereas the other hangs downwards and reaches slightly forwards. Eight figures sit with outstretched legs on the floor. Their arms stretch forwards and the palms of their hands face different directions, one upwards and one downwards ( fig. 57 ). This position in particular suggests that they once played a zither. Remains of largely decomposed wooden music instruments discovered nearby ultimately identify the figures relatively unequivocally as musicians Acrobat in frontal and side view, line drawing In contrast to other figures, the bodies of the acrobats are partially exposed. Roles in the Community : the Wider Context Now that the individual roles of the figures have become familiar, the next step follows. How do the personal duties, above all of a warrior, fit into a greater whole? The term greater whole obviously alludes to the find context in the shafts. A fleeting glance at the shafts suffices to make it clear that the sculptures were not arbitrarily split up in the pits, but followed a regular order. It then becomes apparent that references are often made to one army even though warriors have been found in three shafts ( map 11, Nos.5, 1 4 ). Were they part of one army or did they represent different armies? The essentially rectangular Pit No. 1 five sloping access ramps have been constructed on each side is, with dimensions of m, by far the largest of the three find spots ( fig. 58 ). In its interior, nine corridors were formed by ten partition walls constructed with rammed earth. They allowed sufficient space for the placement of warriors in rows of four and for the deposition of chariots at regular intervals. The infantrymen predominantly consist of armoured and unarmoured lancers and dagger-axe holders (cf. cat. 132 and cat. 133). The slightly narrower open space along the north and south sides of the pit was lined with warriors arranged in rows of two. Whereas the figures of the two inner rows are orientated to the east, as is the case with the majority of the warriors in the shaft, the archers of the two outer rows face outwards. Warriors arranged in rows of three along the east and west side lead and end the formation. Apart from individual officers, they do not wear any form of armour and are armed with crossbows. Facing west, the marksmen of the westernmost row of troops protect the ranks at the back. 225 The wooden roofing beams that had once been placed on top of the partition walls collapsed shortly after the completion of the pit due to a fire and crushed the figures. Many of the sculptures are fragmented to such an extent that human agency alone can be seen as the cause. According to this, plunderers robbed and destroyed the complex before setting fire to it ( see Chapter 6 ). 226 Pit No. 2 shared the same fate : the inventory of this pit was also stolen and the pit was then set on fire. 227 The interior of the L-shaped pit with side lengths measuring 124 and 98 m was divided into a total of fourteen corridors by thirteen rammed-earth walls running east to west 57 Musician from different angles, line drawing The position of the figure indicates that he is playing a zither in a seated position.

8 The Terracotta Men and Their Roles 161 ( fig. 59 ). In the southern section of the shaft, solely four-in-hand chariots were unearthed in eight corridors with their usual crew. In the southern area of the east-west orientated branch and lined up in three corridors, an increasing number of infantrymen are grouped around several chariots. The western end of the remaining three corridors is inhabited by cavalrymen in rows of four : four saddled 58 Front row of the side a corridor lined with formation of terracotta wood between partition figures on the eastern walls made of rammed side of Pit No. 1 of earth. Roofing constructions made of wooden terracotta warriors and horses ( reconstruction ) beams protected the interior rooms from pene The terracotta figures were originally placed intration by water and earth. ca. 1.7 m-high ceramic horses ( see cat. 135 ) each follow four figures. The excavated eastern part of the shaft offers a completely different picture. A vertical corridor separates this part from the rest of the interior. Open spaces along the side walls and directly in front of the east wall of the pit enclose four inner corridors. Along the north and south walls, rows of three standing archers mentioned above are positioned. A further row stands directly in front of the east wall and is followed by a row of armoured lancers and dagger-axe holders. Rows of two kneeling archers fill the four central corridors. A single commanding officer in the penultimate row of the northernmost corridor interrupts the otherwise uniform picture. In contrast to Pit No. 1, the whole arrangement is orientated exclusively towards the east. 228 Pit No. 3, the smallest find spot at m, has a U-shaped ground plan ( fig. 60 ). The only chariot of the pit with four horses stands facing the main access ramp descending from the east. Three armoured warriors with long staff weapons together with a commanding officer stand behind the chariot. The carriage and four seems ready to leave its underground spot towards the east at any moment. Further armoured dagger-axe holders and lancers are located both in the southern and the northern branch of the shaft. Unlike most of the warriors in Pits No. 1 and 2, they are not orientated towards the east but stand with their backs to the walls, facing one another. 229 Both the dimensions of the shafts and the corresponding number of warriors as well as the arrangement of the warriors indicate that N Four-in-hand chariot Access ramp Armoured warrior different directions of view Unarmoured warrior different directions of view Earth s surface Wooden installation Rammed earth

9 162 The Qin Empire and the Tomb Complex of the First Emperor N Armoured kneeling archer Unarmoured archer Other warriors Four-in-hand chariot Cavalry horse Access ramp 59 Formation of the terracotta figures in Pit No. 2 of terracotta warriors and horses ( reconstruction ) N Armoured warrior different directions of view 60 Formation of the terracotta figures in Pit No. 3 of terracotta warriors and horses ( reconstruction ) Charioteer Four-in-hand chariot Access ramp

10 The Terracotta Men and Their Roles 163 different troop sections and not several armies were uncovered. Moreover, it is unlikely that we are faced with an entire army. Contemporary historical works mention armies of several tens of thousands or even over hundreds of thousands of men. Even though these numbers cannot be taken literally, a mere eight thousand warriors are too few to be described as a full army. Therefore, the whole assemblage should rather be understood as a garrison. As was shown in Chapter 6, the distant position from the tomb precinct underlines this interpretation. Containing over six thousand warriors with a whole range of varying duties, Pit No. 1 represents the main strike force in battle formation. This force is protected on all sides by outwardsfacing crossbowmen. The chariots in the centre served, so to speak, as command stations for the foot solders. As the find of two bells and one drum as well as written reports show, the officers signalled their orders using acoustic signals. 230 Due to the many chariots and cavalrymen ( fig. 61 ; cf. cat. 134 ), the warriors from Pit No. 2 could be perceived as a rapid deployment force. The archers placed at the 61 Cavalryman from different angles, line drawing Cavalrymen wore flat caps that were tied under the chin. Their headgear had to remain tight whilst riding. 62 Bowman with In ancient China, crossbows were high-tech spanned crossbow and trigger mechanism weapons. In the pits of ( reconstruction ) the terracotta warriors and horses, numerous fore were the first to come into contact with the enemy. Pit No. 3 is usually referred to as a command centre. 231 The Ideological Role : the Bigger Picture How do the garrison and the remaining figures fit into the overall picture of the First Emperor s tomb complex? Chapter 6 has already illustrated that the over one hundred and eighty shafts discovered to date were all part of a coherent imaginative world. They all represented different aspects of this world and thus created a microcosm for the afterlife. The idea that actual bronze trigger mechanisms were found. The sections made of wood are not preserved. functions were intended for the figures is particularly evident in the case of the terracotta garrison. The several thousand real bronze weapons that were present in corridors such as arrowheads, crossbow arrows, dagger-axes and lance points, or the trigger mechanisms of crossbows ( fig. 62 ; see also cat. 98, cat. 99 and cat. 106, cat. 101 and cat. 102 ) impressively demonstrate that the warriors were attested with full fighting capability. Qin Shi Huangdi was certainly aware of the fact he had made many enemies during his lifetime. With his warriors, he was armed for their attacks in the afterworld. 232 The same can also be said for the court scribe from K0006, the officials and grooms from the stables, the acrobats from K9901 and the musicians from K0007. Within the elaborately created microcosm of the tomb complex, they all fulfilled the same roles as their real models once did. On a large scale, the scribes were responsible for documenting the fate of the entire transcendental empire in minute detail, as only in this way could it be ruled efficiently. On a small scale, the officials, for example, ensured the health of the imperial horses. Finally, above all the cavalry contributed to the rise of the Qin. In spite of his eagerness for war and administrative discipline, it was still important for the ruler not to miss out on any fun. After his death, he still desired to wander through park landscapes and be entertained by musicians and acrobats as well.

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