Chinese Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa – Part 1

On our last visit to Wellington, we went to the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at Te Papa. Entry cost $19.50 and numbers are limited so you get to view the treasures without without having to fight your way through crowds of people. It was well worth it.

There is a lot more on display than the warriors. Items that are thousands of years old, bronzes, pottery, stone and gold. Here are a few of them.

Mythical stone creatures – Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220 CE)
Stone – Excavated at Shenjiaqiao, Xianyang, 1960
Xi’an Beilin Museum

These majestic mythological creatures stand as guardians to the exhibition. They would once have been placed in front of an imperial tomb or palace, protecting their owner into eternity.


The paw gently restraining a playful cub represents nurture.


This one with a paw on a ball represents supremacy.


This chariot drawn by 4 stone horses stands at the entrance to the display.



Cast 3 legged bronze cauldrons or Ding used as cooking vessels in ritual ceremonies,
771 BCE – 220 CE.


A bronze wine flask from the Warring States period – 475 – 221 BCE.


Its hard to appreciate the age of these things and the vast periods of time. What a treat to have them here.

One of the fascinating things I learnt was that 2,000 years ago the Chinese possessed the technology to chrome some of their weapons. They cast metal utensils and ornaments using moulds or ‘the lost wax technique introduced to China around the 5th century BCE.’

BCE & CE explained.
BCE (Before Common Era) and BC (Before Christ) mean the same thing- previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). This is the same as the year AD 1 (Anno Domini); the latter means “in the year of the lord,” often translated as “in the year of our lord.”

continued ……..

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