The Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206, B.C.) is located 36 kilometers east of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, 5 kilometers east of Lintong County. The whole cemetery occupies an area of eight square kilometers. This first and also the largest imperial mausoleum in China still remain to be excavated.
The digging of a well turned out to unearth something much more significant than just water - an underground vault containing thousands of perfectly crafted sculptures, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi'an. Each one life size, each one holding a weapon, many on horseback, each one surprisingly well-preserved for spending 2000 years beneath the ground. The following years resulted in the excavation of two nearby vaults. What was once a sleepy, unremarkable section of China is now home to one of the most famous tourist attractions in the entire country.
The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses. Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.