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Identity of Terracotta Warriors sparks new debate: (No aliens, no oddities..you'll see)

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posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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The Terracotta Army is traditionally believed to have been the guardians of the first emperor of a unified China, but a researcher's claim that they could have been military training models has sparked a new debate over the statues' purpose.

Sun Jiachun, a researcher with the geological bureau of northwest China's Shaanxi province, home of the Terracotta Army, said the pits where the clay figures were discovered were the ruins of a military school near the mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor after China's unification. Sun challenged the widely-accepted theory that the clay figures were an army corps meant to guard the emperor in his afterlife, saying they were too far away and too loosely deployed to serve as real guardians.

"The Terracotta Warriors were found at least 1.5 km from the mausoleum's outer walls," he said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday. "They were poorly organized and were not led by a general, which contradicts ancient China's military system and traditional beliefs that a deceased emperor should be served in the same manner as when he was alive."

Sun said the huge army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses must have had a more practical function. "The first emperor and his ministers must have wanted the army to serve their kingdom - probably by using the clay figures as a teaching aid at their military school."

Sun said Emperor Qin Shihuang must have taken advantage of the clandestine location of his own tomb to train army officers who were expected to fight for his kingdom. "The clay figures were used to simulate battle scenes for the trainees." His theory has sparked a new round of debate over the purpose and identity of the clay figures.

Source: archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com...

Well now, this makes far more sense to me than some crazy, self absorbed leader making a fake army for his kingdom on the other side of death. Doesn't it.

Sure, a lot of work went into them but whatelse were they doing. Or whatelse were they going to use to simulate battle to trainees/recruits etc.

Makes perfect sense and it shows how dedicated they were to the aspects of War/Combat and the importance of training and tactics.

Thoughts?




posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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Makes perfect sense to me too to be honest. Apart from anything else, the First Emperor will surely have been responsible for the establishment of empire, therefore military tactics and formations (and ways to defeat them) would have been crucial.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:34 AM
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Ok then just to put this idea out there as well then, what if this army were to be viewed from the air? much like the Nazca lines etc. What if it were to scare or intimidate visitors from landing? I dont have any proof of this, just thought i'd put it out there and see what comes back, if anything!



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:36 AM
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Interesting theory.

To add to this, perhaps this was the ancient equivalent of a dummy army, that from a distance would look just like a real army in formation and perhaps give the enemy the idea that their target had a much larger force than they truly did.

A modern day equivalent would be Operation Fortitude or the British North African Campaign in WWII.


edit on 5-12-2011 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:37 AM
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Training dummies sounds like a very reasonable explanation.

Is there any evidence of weapon marks on them? Or any other type of damage that would have been attributed to various training exercises?



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
Training dummies sounds like a very reasonable explanation.

Is there any evidence of weapon marks on them? Or any other type of damage that would have been attributed to various training exercises?


I imagine if they were used for this purpose they wouldn't have been attacked, but rather arranged in various formations to determine what tactics were effective in what situations.

I imagine it sucked moving these guys around into different formations. Oh the woes of an ancient Chinese slave.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:41 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


I actually do not even think of them being used that way for training - clay models would not be the best for weapons training. I see them being far more likely to be used in military tactics training such as infantry response to a cavalry charge, etc.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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Actually while looking at photos of the Terracotta Army just now, another idea occurred to me.

If you take closer notice, many of these statues are different people. Some have funny mustaches, some have beards, some don't have either.

What if these statues are representing the emperor's revered elite soldiers, each one representing a different person?

Sort of like a tribute to these men individually, like a portrait of some sort?



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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That is a fascinating theory that makes great sense to me.

There is a fantastic fiction book called "Motel of the Mysteries" that shows what people several thousand years in the future would discover if they unearthed a modern-day motel. It's hilarious--and illustrates how archaeologists make sense of what they find--often incorrectly (in this book, at least.) It makes me wonder how many of our archaological theories are actually VERY wrong.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


I actually do not even think of them being used that way for training - clay models would not be the best for weapons training. I see them being far more likely to be used in military tactics training such as infantry response to a cavalry charge, etc.


Right but still there would be damage from moving them around and possibly dropping them, accidents, etc.

Formation training would still lead to damage. That's why I like the 'portrait of individual soldiers idea' that I just realized in the post above.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
Makes perfect sense to me too to be honest. Apart from anything else, the First Emperor will surely have been responsible for the establishment of empire, therefore military tactics and formations (and ways to defeat them) would have been crucial.


After a bit of research, im censoring myself


It would appear that Sun Tze (and therefore military tactics) preceded the First Emperor by at least several hundred years, possibly as many as 500 years.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash

Originally posted by Flavian
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


I actually do not even think of them being used that way for training - clay models would not be the best for weapons training. I see them being far more likely to be used in military tactics training such as infantry response to a cavalry charge, etc.


Right but still there would be damage from moving them around and possibly dropping them, accidents, etc.

Formation training would still lead to damage. That's why I like the 'portrait of individual soldiers idea' that I just realized in the post above.


Im liking this theory as a possibility also to be honest. Its also the kind of wonderfully conceited thing that you could / should expect from someone who never hears the words "well that is going to be too difficult" or better still "no"



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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I don't think this theory makes sense given that there is so much care and detail that went into the making of these soldiers, and the fact that every one is unique. If they were just dummies to be used for military practice they'd all look exactly the same (much more efficient to produce identical dummies) and they would likely be much less detailed. Clearly they were intended to serve some symbolic purpose above and beyond just being place-holders.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by anon72
 


It does sound like it could be somewhat reasonable, it would stand the chance of shattering though.
There was another set of terracotta warriors who were much smaller than the life size ones.
I doubt these were taining dummies.
What do I love about history and it's artifacts, all of the speculation and we still prolly don't know.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by TinkerHaus

To add to this, perhaps this was the ancient equivalent of a dummy army, that from a distance would look just like a real army in formation and perhaps give the enemy the idea that their target had a much larger force than they truly did.


edit on 5-12-2011 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)


That's kind of what I thought. That they would be there to keep armies away that saw them from a distance. I wouldn't want to invaded a country that had that kind of army at the ready before I even invade.
I also think it is possible that it could be an army to protect the emperor in the next life. Some of those ancient rulers were pretty proud of themselves. But it is also a Chinese culture where it is uniformity or group that matters and not individuals. So it is a bit more believable that it would be used to scare someone off.
The theory of them being for training could be possible but it seems unlikely because like some have said it seems they would break easily and therefore not useful for battle situations. But maybe the statues were stronger back then and could take more damage. It just seems that wood dummies or poles or something would be more pratical. I could see them using them as a way to show how the soldiers are supposed to stand in formation or what an army is supposed to look like but other than that...I'm not seeing the use as a military training thing.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by tinfoilsrule

Originally posted by TinkerHaus

To add to this, perhaps this was the ancient equivalent of a dummy army, that from a distance would look just like a real army in formation and perhaps give the enemy the idea that their target had a much larger force than they truly did.


edit on 5-12-2011 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)


That's kind of what I thought. That they would be there to keep armies away that saw them from a distance. I wouldn't want to invaded a country that had that kind of army at the ready before I even invade.
I also think it is possible that it could be an army to protect the emperor in the next life. Some of those ancient rulers were pretty proud of themselves. But it is also a Chinese culture where it is uniformity or group that matters and not individuals. So it is a bit more believable that it would be used to scare someone off.
The theory of them being for training could be possible but it seems unlikely because like some have said it seems they would break easily and therefore not useful for battle situations. But maybe the statues were stronger back then and could take more damage. It just seems that wood dummies or poles or something would be more pratical. I could see them using them as a way to show how the soldiers are supposed to stand in formation or what an army is supposed to look like but other than that...I'm not seeing the use as a military training thing.


I've actually had this idea for a long time, that they were dummy army. We know they used to be painted, and each statue is a unique individual. Both of these things lend credence to my idea, I think.

Hopefully one day we'll know for sure.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 09:29 AM
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To me, there is too much detail for the terracotta soldiers to be mere training aids. In my mind, they could represent the men who served in the emperor's army. If that were the case, each man had a statue, maybe with a promise that for their loyalty and bravery, should they fall in battle, their statue, would accompany the emperor in his royal burial site to the afterlife. With a guarantee of a special place as the emperor's favored men.

That makes more sense to me...especially with a culture that placed so much value on the glories of the afterlife.

But, that is just a thought blowing through my mind...
edit on 5-12-2011 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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I see them as a monument to his beloved army instead of quards, as they were individualized he obviously thought highly of them - or he was complete nutter. The real tomb guards are probably in the tomb itself. Having not been to the site I would wonder if he wished them be viewable from his tomb; passing in review as it were.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 12:02 PM
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reply to post by Destinyone
 


No, I like you idea the best-so far.

I have to say with the "individualization" of the items gives it more importance.

I am sure it must have been a great selling point for the recruiters..... You can get your own statue if you perform well in combat and serve the Master well...



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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Strongly disagree with the author's theory that these statues had a 'practical function', as either a 'practice army' or as an illusory army to scare off enemies. For one they're made of terracotta - too heavy and too brittle to be moved about casually, or arranged on a hilltop to frighten off invaders. If they need practice dummies they would have simply used a soldiers clothing and weapons wrapped over a wooden dummy - Chinese martial arts have used these for ages. Terracotta would be completely impractical. The proximity of the terracotta army may be incidental to the location of an ancient training school.

The emperor may have commissioned his terracotta army not for his death and afterlife, but to decorate his palaces during his life. They probably lined the walls of his great halls, a paean to his vanity or ego, or some incessant desire to constantly immortalize his valiant warriors as artwork. Then he died. And the next emperor was like "Okaaay, so what exactly do we do with all these things? What about that big area behind the school no one uses, let's just stick 'em in a pit and bury them back there, and pretend this never happened..."



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