Xian (also known as Xi'an or Sian) is a sub-provincial city in the southwest of China. It is also the formal capital of Shaanxi province. For a certain time Xian remained a very important town becoming one of the cultural centres of Ancient China. The historical name of the city is Changan, meaning "Perpetual Peace".
For a thousand years Xian was a very important city, being a capital for several Dynasties of rulers, it was the terminal station for the famous Silk Road. Then Xian gradually lost its power to Beijing, which developed much faster. Now Xian is starting to regain it former glory - establishing itself as the educational centre of the northwest region of China.
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It was in the year of 1975 when Xian hit the big time again, when a local peasant dug upon one of the most surprising archaeological discoveries of the modern times. Thousands of life size terracotta figures were found buried under the soil of Xian. Terracotta is a type of ceramic, similar to clay. Terracotta is an ancient material; it has been utilized by many cultures around the world. Clay, particularly terracotta, has been known to people for many thousands of years.
The terracotta army was made by ancient craftsmen to accompany the first Emperor of China - Qin Shi Huang di - on his last journey. The construction of Emperor's tomb begun around 200 BCE and Qin ordered many thousands of terracotta warriors to be built.
Terracotta Warriors have been standing covered with soil for more than 2,200 years waiting for someone to dig them out of the soil of Xian.