As with the initial discovery of the terracotta warriors, my finding of the terra warriors in my backyard was purely an accident. In 1974, some Chinese farmers were digging a well not far from the city of Xi'an. While digging the well, they unearthed what turned out to be a 20-square mile burial tomb for Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who started the Qin dynasty from 221-207 BCE.
Emperor Qin Shi Huang's tomb contains more than 6,000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots guarding the emperor.
These soldiers all looked different, which reflected individual soldiers of that day. Two millennia ago, all the warriors were painted with colors depicting their uniforms along with facial features. Overtime, the paint has faded.
Several years ago, I taught an American college class in China. It was the best teaching experience that I have had in two decades of teaching. I was able to write the entire course and the itinerary for the month of travel and study in China.
However, a couple of months ago, I was replanting some black-eyed Susan's in my backyard. As I was digging, the earth collapsed below me, and I fell into a 10-foot diameter hole. Initially, I was frightened. Nonetheless, as I was picking myself up, I discovered some additional terracotta warriors and artifacts from Emperor Qin Shi Huang. As I unearthed these treasures from China with great excitement, I wondered how they wound up in my backyard. The best that I could theorize was that there was a tectonic shift of the Earth's surface, which resulted in the exchange of materials from China to the States. I also believe that somewhere outside of Xi'an some local farmer might be seeing black-eyed Susans flowering.
After unearthing the terracotta warriors, I brought them inside my home and cleaned them up. They now adorn my living space.
This collection is of miniature figures of warriors and philosophers in my bookshelf.
This charioteer stands guard in my China Room, which is a guest bedroom.
This warrior is also in the China Room.
This warrior wished to stand guard in my backyard.
This warrior stands guard in the entrance to my living room.
If you wish to see dozens of photos that I took while visiting Xi'an, just click on Terracotta Warriors. However, this is one of the photos of me saying "你好吗" or "Nǐ hǎo ma" to a warrior. The one on his right has a card begging to be taken to America.
Both Jack and Owen, my two preschool grandchildren, know all about the terracotta warriors. Only the dragons in my home are more interesting to them. However, it was not long before they mentioned kayaking on the lake behind my home. They know that I have sighted a relative of the Loch Ness Monster residing in the lake.
Jack, like the typical firstborn, was ready to search for the monster....
Owen, who is two years younger, questioned whether their swimming the lake was the best means to find the monster. He merely asked, "Are you sure about swimming around in the lake, Papa?"
This is the follow-up to the search for the Loch Ness Monster behind my house. Just prior to having my web administrator post this article about the terracotta warriors, I took this picture of Nessie on the surface of the lake.
Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.