Терракотовый воин: образ или персона?

Translated title of the contribution: Terracotta warrior: Image or person?

A. I. Solovyev, S. A. Komissarov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article investigates the problem of the so-called portraiture of personages presented in the terracotta army of the First Qin emperor. The results of analytical work of foreign colleagues were explored (namely, on restoration of the full spectrum of paints on the surface of the clay figures, or comparative studies of the forms of terracotta soldiers’ ears because this part of the human face is absolutely unique and therefore used in modern forensic practice for identification purposes). On the base of visual analyses of the material that could be obtained, taking into account the serial production of the big details (torsos, feet, heads) for assembling of the whole figures, as well as traces of the different instruments on faces of these figures, and after personal experience in working with elastic materials such as clay, the authors proposed a hypothesis that the reconstruction of face details (ears, noses, eyebrows, mustaches, etc.) which complete the assemblage was of the same type of serial mass production. Occasional or intentional deformation of face details in the process of their fixation, supplemented with elements such as coiffures and accentuated sections of face hair served as a basis for visible diversity in the clay soldiers and officials. However, we cannot say much about the personal characteristics of the real representatives of Qin society. We see only a reproduction of the appropriate image, but not the distinct person in the emperor’s army or court. The observations received indicate sheer haste and even negligence in the work of the craftsmen during the final stages of constructing this enormous funeral complex that never reached the level of the preliminary plans.

Translated title of the contributionTerracotta warrior: Image or person?
Original languageRussian
Article number1
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalВестник Новосибирского государственного университета. Серия: История, филология
Issue number4: Востоковедение
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Individual features
  • Mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdi
  • Serial production in Antiquity
  • Terracotta army




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