Terra Cotta Warriors and the Qin Dynasty; Xi'an, China

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

It's been a whirlwind 16 days in China. Our travel schedule was so packed that this is the first time I've had an opportunity to post since we left! Once back in the US, I'll submit posts with details from the course, but in the meantime, I'll share a few highlights with our student travelers. 

One of the most impactful moments on the course was our visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an. The Terra Cotta Warriors gaurd the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin.  They were discovered by accident when a local farmer was digging a well, and discovered broken pieces of terra cotta pottery.  The initial excavation of the grounds revield an army worthy of protecting the Emperor in the afterlife. 

This is only 1 of 4 pits! Archeologist anticipate there are over 6000 soldiers, all of differing rank and purpose, buried under ground protecting the Emperor from invadors. 

What's even more amazing, the Qin Dynasty only ruled from 221 - 206 BCE. The First Emperor Qin only held power for 10 years, and yet his subjects were able to create over 6000 individual soldiers to gaurd his tomb.  At the Terra Cotta Warrior factory, they explained that each warrior takes more than 1 month to complete.  What an incredible amount of work went into preparing Emperor Qin's tomb in just a short amount of time. 

Chris becoming one with the warriors.

Here is Chris becoming one with the Terra Cotta Warriors. 

These soldiers are infantry men. You can tell by their hair style (right-side knot) and the type of armor.  Inside the pits, archeologists have discovered soldiers, officers, generals, and calvary. Each one with an individual face. The historians speculate the faces are modeled after Emperor Qin's actual army.

Winter Term China's Triple Bottom Line

Friday, January 4, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

Today was our first class meeting for the short term study abroad Winter Term course to China: China's Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet & Profit, led by Professor Sherry Mou and myself.

We will be traveling abroad with 24 students, visiting the modern and ancient cities of Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Suzhou and Shanghai.

We had a quick Chinese language lesson, and then dove right into the changing China. The title of our class was highlighted immediately by the film we watched this afternoon: Up the Yangtze by Yung Chang.

The film documents the changes to the Chinese landscape, people and economy as the Three Gorges Dam is finished.

2 million people displaced for the advancement of the nation.

While it may provide jobs and electricity to remote areas, individual ways of life and the environment are changed forever.

It’s easier to see the environmental impact, as it’s more immediate. The individual, depending on their access to resources, may see an improved quality of life, or they’ll be swallowed up like the hundreds of ancient cities now at the bottom of the Yangtze River.

4 more days until travel to China!