The Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xian

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The Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xian

Making replica terracotta warriors at the terracotta warrior museumAbout an hours drive from the centre of Xian, just 10 mins from the main Terracotta Warrior excavation site is a government run museum that provides a demonstration of how Terracotta Warriors replicas are made and of course provides you with an opportunity to purchase souvenirs.

Our guide (rather worryingly named Number 98 on her badge) showed us how they take local clay and use moulds to create hollow replica warriors which are then finished with the fine details before being fired to about 1000C in the kilns.

However, she also explained that when the original warriors were created, the did not use moulds but instead built the hollow statues up in coils.

As we walked through to the shop, our guide also explains that we can have a Terracotta Warrior with a copy of you own head on it. Not willing to even consider that we walk through to take a look at the replica statues in the shop.

Our guides explains, pointing at the warriors, how to tell the different warriors apart.

• soldiers have a single top knot of hair on their head
• archers, while not only kneeling, have their top knot on the other side.
• Cavalry have a flat hat on their head
• officers have flat hair, beaded down the back.
• generals have a double knot on top.

The shop also sells furniture and other porcelain and ornaments. In the end we decided to go for a single warrior for 400 Yuan, hoping our many purchases were not taking us over the flight limits!