a silent army

a silent army
Originally uploaded by idogu.

This is not my image.

I had been staying in Xian for a few days. I had met up with these two Swedish girls and an American guy who lived in Tai Pei.

We hired a taxi for the day and traveled up to the terracotta warriors. Out the front was the usual dodgem track of merchandising stalls, but inside was the surprises.

First of all, there was the sheer immensity of the army. And then there was the sheer amount of work they still have to do to uncover it. They have done less than 10%.

Secondly was the immense smell of terracotta clay. I have never been in a place which smelled so much of clay and I have lived in a house with a potter who made a living from pottery.

Finally, there were signs everywhere saying no photography. The crowd around the pit was about 5 people deep in most parts. Standing behind them was a soldier, perhaps every 10 to 20 feet. When you looked across the room at the people on the other side, you saw the continuous flash-flash of cameras being used. No one seemed to mind.

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