Unearthing China- Banpo and Xian

Xian, China holds many answers to Chinese history and is famous for the terracotta warriors and the gateway to the Silk Road. A trip to Xian is a history buffs paradise as it sets stage to various dynasty’s, periods and kingdoms all in one city which is surrounded by a beautiful wall.

Xian is also known from its flat noodles and the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda where the earliest Buddhist texts were taken from India and translated. Though Xian popularly draws in tourists who come to see the terracotta warriors and their glory.

Terracotta Warriors


The archaeological site for the terracotta warriors is well preserved is one of histories latest findings that was unearthed. The terracotta warriors stand guard to the Emperors palace which is still buried under a mound as it is said to have many complications that prevent people from unearthing it. These life size warriors were made in order to protect the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang and is part of a larger necropolis which included the Emperors, mausoleum, army, general quarters and other details that were built in third century BCE.

Colorful Terracotta warriors when unearthed.

Each soldier was created unique to have different facial features, color and dress according to their ranking. The site of the terracotta warriors is well preserved and restoration work is still an ongoing process. One amazing thing that strikes me is that the warriors when uncovered were brightly painted but then faded away in less than 4 mins when exposed to air.

Each soldier unique with different facial expressions and look

Banpo Chinese Neolithic Site

The inhabitants of Banpo and site as imagined by artist

In another corner of Xian lies Banpo, which is an archaeological discovery made during the Mao regime which dates back to the Neolithic period. The Banpo site is a human settlement which is 12 acres in area and shows a lifestyle and culture from 4800 BCE. The settlement is of an agrarian society that had primitive crops and livestock. The site is well preserved, covered and available for public viewing. Some of the interesting aspects from the site are its burial sites, a moat which surrounds the settlement and well built houses. Closer to the huts urns were found which were used for burying children and infants.

Actual Burial site at Banpo

During the Marxists regime it was believed that the Banpo site was a matriarchal society which helped promote the Marxist ideology and agenda. The idea has since been abandoned and reviewed.

Xian is a treasure trove but one needs time and patience to unearth the vast history the city has to unfold.

Pictures credited to Traveling Noodles and Razor Rasu


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