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China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors

Opening 9 February to 28 October 2018, China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors features more than 180 spectacular artefacts from museums across Shaanxi Province, more than half of which have never been on show in the UK before.

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors

Opening 9 February to 28 October 2018, China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors features more than 180 spectacular artefacts from museums across Shaanxi Province, more than half of which have never been on show in the UK before.

This landmark exhibition tells the story of the formative years of the Chinese nation, from the pre-unification Qin Kings, to China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang’s rise to power and the legacy of his achievements in the succeeding Han Dynasty.

Tickets for the exhibition will go on general sale online at 10am on Thursday 9 November, with a pre-sale for National Museums Liverpool members from 10am on Monday 6 November. Members will also have unlimited free entry to the exhibition.

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors is an unmissable opportunity to see some of China’s finest national treasures. Visitors will come face to face with the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors, including a life-size terracotta horse, as well as other exquisite objects from the Emperor’s vast burial complex. Objects from the Han Dynasty will explore ancient Chinese lifestyle, the economic prosperity of the empire and beautifully crafted artefacts from royal burials.

Spanning almost 1,000 years, the exhibition sheds light on the formative years of the Chinese nation, from the bitter struggles of warring states in the 8th century BC to the rise of the Qin State and the unification of China by the First Emperor in 221 BC, concluding with the peace and prosperity of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD).

The exhibition has been curated by leading scholars and designed by National Museums Liverpool, working with the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum. China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors will also feature immersive technology to create a unique and evocative interpretation of this historical collection.

Shaanxi Province in North West China was home to the First Emperor and his ancestors. Archaeologists working near Xi’an, the ancient capital of China, have uncovered three large pits of life-sized Terracotta Warriors over the last 40 years, each with their own individual clothing, hair and facial features, along with horses and war chariots. The pits were found to the east of the Emperor’s mausoleum, an area which at 56 square kilometres is the biggest known burial site on earth. The mausoleum itself remains unopened, but it is estimated there are around 8,000 figures in total, most of which are still to be excavated.

Remarkable new discoveries are continually coming to light, which indicate that Emperor Qin Shi Huang wished to take the entire universe into the afterlife. The scale and lavishness of his burial site and the mystery of the Emperor’s mausoleum forms a major component of the exhibition.

Dr. James Lin, from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, has been appointed by National Museums Liverpool as the exhibition’s guest curator. Dr. Lin is an expert in early Chinese material culture, including bronzes and jades.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting programme of activities for schools and a public events programme throughout the duration of its eight-month run.

Tickets are priced from £14.50 for adults and £5.50 for children aged between 6 and 17 years. Children aged 5 years and under go free. There will be a number of additional concessions. Further details of prices and how to book tickets can be found at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/terracottawarriors

Current and new members of National Museums Liverpool will have access to pre-sale tickets from 10am on Monday 6 November. To sign up to become a member visit: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/membership  

World Museum’s Terracotta Warriors exhibition will be a major part of Liverpool’s 2018 celebrations, marking 10 years since the city held the title of European Capital of Culture 2008.

The exhibition is organised by National Museums Liverpool, United Kingdom and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre), People’s Republic of China.


Event Date: Friday 9th February – Sunday 28th October 2018

53.409975,-2.981638999999973

Location: World Museum, Liverpool

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World Museum Liverpool


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