The Chinese terracotta army is one of the most famous discoveries in the world. The human-sized warriors were ordered by Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang for his tomb. However, a recent discovery is even more striking than the army itself: it seems like the ancient Greeks might have been related to the impressive design.
A new analysis from researchers considers the possibility that the terracotta army was inspired by the famous art and sculpture of the ancient Greeks. However, the creation of the sculptures dates back to more than two thousand years ago, when it was supposed that there was no connection between the Europeans and the Chinese people.
The influence of the art in Ancient Greek on the Chinese people is a stunning discovery. This leads researchers to believe that Marco Polo was not the first European to reach Asian lands as it was previously thought.
There are no less than eight thousand clay warriors defending Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb. They were first discovered more than forty years ago, back in 1974. The archeologists who studied them were impressed by the details of the sculpture, including cloth and armor details, facial expression and hair styles.
Specialists believe that the details which highlight the individuality of each soldier were inspired by the elegant ancient Greek manner of sculpting. Researchers base their statement on the fact that the style of the terracotta army is quite different from anything else originating from China.
The Chinese art was rather simple back then, as experts explain. The artists didn’t tend to add adornments to their sculpture. Moreover, their works didn’t exceed eight inches in terms of height. On the other hand, the ancient Greeks had plenty of life-sized statues, as well as ornamented sculptures, and the famous Corinthian style stands as proof.
All the details of the sculpture rendered them a realistic aspect. This holds valid for both the Chinese terracotta army and the works of art of the Ancient Greeks.
On the other hand, Qin Shi Huang’s initiative didn’t set a tradition for Chinese rulers. No other following emperor or ruler demanded such a monument for his funeral. There are also no records of previous Chinese rulers imposing similar wills.
If the connection between the Greek style and the terracotta army are confirmed, this means that there were relations between the two cultures way earlier than estimated. Specialists explain that the first contacts between them might even date one thousand five hundred years earlier than previously believed.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia