If you are a previous reader of this blog, you know I love a good challenge. You may also notice that the blog has been tending towards being a Photography blog. This wasn’t the original intention. My original intention was for it to be a Writing Blog. While my interests have shifted for the moment, writing is still my main creative outlet.
So when I saw the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge… well who am I to ignore a fun challenge. So here with go with Writing Wednesday, let’s see how long it lasts.
This week’s challenge is to write about our favourite item or possession. Hmmmm. This could be a tough one. Leaving aside the obvious – family, photos, my cat, my car – what could I write about. Explaining why something is precious to you is a very personal thing. This made me disregard a number of items. The more I thought about it, the more I realised I couldn’t even name my favourite possession. I have, afterall, hoarder genes. I like to hang onto things. It’s something I’m working on.
In the end it came down to, what item do I want to write about? Interwebs meet Emperor Wu.
Emperor Wu is a replica of a Terracotta Warrior. If you aren’t aware, the Terracotta Warriors or the Terracotta Army are a collection of terracotta sculptures discovered in Xi’an, China. The statues are an army of warriors, Generals and horses of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang dated back to 210-209 BC. They were created to ensure the Emperor’s protection in the Afterlife and to ensure that he had people to rule once he got there.
That last point gets even creepier when you learn that the craftsmen who worked on this amazing piece of funerary art were buried alive with the Emperor upon his death. Yeah. Creepy.
Aside from the beautiful craftsmanship, the sheer size of the work is amazing. So far, only a small portion of the work has been uncovered. They estimate there that in the pits they have found so far there are over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Then there are the artisans – acrobats, strongmen and musicians (lest the Emperor be bored in the Afterlife). Oh and you need a few officials to keep everything running.
The sheer size of the undertaking is just amazing. The total area is huge and they haven’t even come anywhere near the Emperor’s actual tomb yet. Imagine what they’ll find there! (Literally) buried treasure!! And a lot of skeletons.
I’d love to go and see it for myself one day. I’ve been to China (something I never imagined I’d get to say) but sadly I didn’t get to see them. It’s not an easy location to get to, so you have to really want to go and you can’t get close. They are so fragile, they have to be really protected so they keep people at a safe distance. I have seen a few of them up pretty close though, when they toured in Australia. Just amazing. I was disappointed I couldn’t take any photos. I understand why but they were displayed so well, it would have made for some great shots.
My fascination with the Terracotta Warriors aside, Emperor Wu has a special place in my house. Named for the wife of an old boss of mine, he stands proudly in the entrance, protecting my home and ensuring he is the first thing you see. He’s solidly constructed, not a cheap copy which is what one would expected from an Emperor. Yes, I realise the statues are of Warriors not the Emperor but the name suits him. Since he took up his post I have not been robbed, so clearly he has been doing his job. Of course, if he ever lets me down I can always pull his head off.
He’s a solid version