Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
The First Emperor’s (r. 221-210 BCE) terracotta army has captured the world’s attention since its first discovery in the 1970s. The thousands of marionette-like figures standing in formation testify to an administration that had achieved unprecedented military power. The First Emperor’s famous assemblage, however, was not the last terracotta army to be commissioned. His original assemblage inspired a long line of clay armies in the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE). This presentation will examine these new army figurines and their relationship to the Qin precedent, reflecting on their unique style and considering what the armies reveal about warfare and politics in China’s first long-lasting empire.