- The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.
- It is believed that it took 700,000 workers to build what became Qin Shihuang's necropolis.
- The Terracotta Army is part of a much larger necropolis. Ground-penetrating radar and core sampling have measured the area to be approximately 98 square kilometers (38 square miles).
- The necropolis was constructed as a microcosm of the emperor's imperial palace or compound and covers a large area around the tomb mound of the first emperor. The earthen tomb mound is located at the foot of Mount Li and built in a pyramidal shape, and is surrounded by two solidly built rammed earth walls with gateway entrances. The necropolis consists of several offices, halls, stables, other structures as well as an imperial park placed around the tomb mound. The tomb appears to be a hermetically sealed space roughly the size of a football pitch (c. 100 × 75 m).
- The tomb remains unopened, possibly due to concerns over the preservation of its artifacts. Pit 1, which is 230 meters (750 ft) long and 62 meters (203 ft) wide, contains the main army of more than 6,000 figures.
- Pit 2 has cavalry and infantry units as well as war chariots and is thought to represent a military guard. Pit 3 is the command post, with high-ranking officers and a war chariot. Pit 4 is empty, perhaps left unfinished by its builders.
- The terracotta figures are life-sized, typically ranging from 175 cm (5.74 ft) to about 200 cm (6.6 ft) (the officers are typically taller). They vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle in accordance with rank. Their faces appear to be different for each individual figure; scholars, however, have identified 10 basic face shapes.