Imagine you are a farmer pushing your shovel into the earth as you dig a well, and your shovel hits something. You bend over to examine what your shovel hit, and you find that it is something like pottery. Pushing more dirt aside, you realize that you have found something quite special; it appears to be a terracotta soldier.
In fact, this did happen to a group of farmers in 1974: they discovered 46 sq. km underground cavern containing the terracotta army protecting the tomb of the First Emperor in China. Archaeologists have been excavating the site since its discovery, and have recovered 8,000 terracotta soldiers and 600 terracotta horses.
Interested in seeing the terracotta soldiers?
There is an exhibition at Incheba Expo Prague, Hall E Exhibition grounds 67 (170 90 Praha 7 – Holešovice) from November 12, 2014- February 8, 2015, every day from 10am- 6pm.
I had the opportunity to talk with Benoit Verlinden, who works closely with the Terracotta Soldier Exhibit.
Rachel Struxness: How did you get involved with the exhibition and what is your role?
Benoit Verlinden: I’m working for the company which produces the exhibition and rents it to local promoters around the world. I’m here to manage it, make sure that everything is good, maintain the objects and manage the shop too. I’m also here to make the changes which have to be done, as moving some objects, walls…
RS: How did you feel the first time you saw the terracotta soldiers?
BV: I was really amazed by the size of the statue! Usually, and especially more than 2000 years ago, Chinese people are small. Not the soldiers which measures around 2 meter high! And I was also surprised by their weight because I had to carry more than 200 of them around the Incheba Expo and it wasn’t a good surprise
RS: Did anything surprise you when you first saw the exhibit?
BV: Yes, I was really surprised by the diversity in the soldiers and in the weapons. Also, when I learned that more than 700.000 workers were needed to build the Necropolis of the First Emperor of China! It’s impressive to imagine that so many people can work only for the tomb of one man.
RS: Is there anything in particular you suggest people look for when they come to the exhibit?
BV: I would suggest them to take their time to read every panel and listen to every audioguide. It will probably take more than two hours but it’s really interesting and it give you a good overview of this old Chinese civilisation.
RS: Do you have any other practical tips for when people come to the exhibit?
BV: There are discounts for students and the price during the week is lower than the price during the week-end. In addition, as I just said before, this exhibition contains many information. So make sure to schedule enough time to visit it at your leisure!
For more information, visit http://www.terakotova-armada.cz/