Two ancient cultures, deepening their bond by digital collusion. There’s a certain ring to it, no?
Courtesy of a gripping new digital exhibition, hosted by the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, you can come face to face with the famous 3rd century Terracotta Army of Xi’an, built in 210-209BC to guard China’s First Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife, with the help of warhorses, weapons and chariots.
The awesome spectre comes to us from Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum in central China and is part of the China-Greece Year of Culture and Tourism, in which the two countries strive to forge stronger cultural ties with the aid of the digitization of their cultural heritage.
Both the Greek and Chinese civilizations thrived over 2,000 years ago on their respective sides of the Eurasian continent and by Byzantine times, Chinese and Greek diplomat-scholars were learning from each other in the fields of philosophy, medicine and astronomy.
The current online exhibition showcasing the 2,000-strong life-sized Terracotta Army, unearthed in 1974, is the first of its kind in Greece. You can learn all about the lengthy history of the archaeological excavations at Xi’an, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed ancient city – and take a birds-eye 360-degree view of the Terracotta Warrior pits at the Qinling Museum.
Among the digital exhibition highlights, you can also see one of the high-ranking Terracotta Warriors face down a glorious late Archaic Greek kouros, a statue of a nude male youth. It’s a fascinating way to compare the art of these two magnificent ancient cultures.