rchaeologists say design of clay warriors suggests close contact between east and west 1500 years before Marco Polo
Greek craft workers may have helped inspire the most famous Chinese sculptures ever made – the 8000 warriors of the Terracotta Army who have been watching over the tomb of the first emperor of China for more than 2000 years.
Archaeologists and historians working on the warriors say they now believe that the figures’ startlingly lifelike appearance could have been influenced by the arrival in China of ancient Greek sculptures and even that Greek sculptors made their way there to teach their designs.
Li Xiuzhen a senior archaeologist at the site said recent discoveries including that of ancient European DNA recovered from sites in Xinjian province from the time of the first emperor were overturning traditional thinking about the level of contact between Asia and Europe more than 1500 years before the travels of Marco Polo.
“We now have evidence that close contact existed between the first emperor’s China and the west before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought” she said. “We now think the Terracotta Army the acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art.”
“我们现在有证据表明，在丝绸之路正式开启之前，中国第一位皇帝和西方之间有密切的联系。 这远远早于我们以前的想法“她说。 “我们现在认为兵马俑里的杂技演员和现场发现的青铜雕塑受到古希腊雕塑和艺术的启发。
Lukas Nickel chair of Asian art history at Vienna University and one of the team working on the history of the figures said: “I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals.”
The new discoveries will be outlined in a documentary, The Greatest Tomb on Earth, jointly made by the BBC and National Geographic, which will be shown onBBC Two on 16 October.
lfredHerring 34m ago
So like maybe the center of human civ back then included both east and west in the same political economy with the center in Tibet or Kazakhstan? thank god for the longboat eh? you lutefisk eating outlander you...
Philip Leung 3h ago
I think it's a theory worth considering but I'm curious why Sima Qian doesn't make note of these foreigners in his descxtion of the tomb (his descxtion was not believed by many until the discovery of the Terracotta warriors).
The Chinese were probably the best record keepers in history and many types of foreigners were described in some of the earliest classics but I haven't read anything about Greeks or people that can be lixed to them described in the classics.
Gordomania 4h ago
A lot of nonsense being written below the lines as ever.
yftiger19810627 4h ago
In the contrary i think maybe the craft man in qin dynasty helped the ancient Greek craft man to create their sculpture because we can see some traits in ancient Greek terracotta sculpture have chinese style.
oldgit47 4h ago
Yes it was possible that the Terracotta Army could have been influenced by the arrival in China of ancient Greek sculptures or even that Greek sculptors made their way there to teach their craft after all there's no evidence to say they didn't. But while that's all it must remain until more evidence comes to light a possibility but one that cannot be dismissed out of hand.
There is growing evidence that people have travelled the world for far longer than once thought once thought the phrase much used today by archaeologists as science trashes the assumptions of the past which were once put forward as fact.
David Hoffman 4h ago
Europeans should be thankful for Chinese. Virtually Chinese inventions and discoveries formed a fundamentally of West technological culture brought by either the invasion of Mongolians or trade routes.
Chinese invented many of the things we use today e.g. explosive iron steel glass machinery discovery of magnetism domestication of chickens cows & pigs ice cream soccer and many others.
中国人发明了许多我们今天使用的东西，例如：火药 铁 钢 玻璃 机械装置 磁场的发现 驯化的鸡、牛、猪、冰淇淋、足球和许多其他的发现。
thirdknee David Hoffman 1h ago
Wooooooooooo! soccer ? You're just messing right ?
wooooooooooo 我曹 ！足球？你觉得可能吗？（我也觉得就国足这......）
Ding Chuan Teik 4h ago
Anyone wants work in planet Abc123? I heard human-like creatures there are looking to employ noodle makers and they pay very well. Sorry I don't have much else details.
DiDi Wu 4h ago
LMAO. The idea may seem sounds to westerners who does not know the Chinese kings were already burying massive number of statues and figures (abeit these were small statues) long before Greek was created.
HerrPrincip DiDi Wu 4h ago
This is undoubtedly true but none of them seem to possess the Renaissance-like classical almost magical realism of the terra cota warriors which were probably modeled after a foreign template (I am not dissing the Chinese artists' creativity just saying that the terra cota warriors stand in pretty stark contrast with other works of Chinese art at the time and stick out like a sore thumb). The only candidates for such foreign influence at the time could only have been Ancient Greece Persia or Egypt although ancient HIndu influences cannot be fully and completely excluded. I think we can comfortably exclude both Persia and Egypt as the mannerisms inherent in their art are visibly absent from the terra cota warriors.
David Hoffman HerrPrincip 2h ago
Ancient Chinese viewed all outsiders as uncivilized crude barbarians almost subhuman. I highly doubt they would hire anyone or respect any ideas from outside.
According to the director of the Terracotta Army Museum not this Chinese researcher Li Xiuzhen working for some company/school in London he said in the ancient scxt written the emperor hired master craftsmen from every part China at that time to make life-size figurants to accompany and protect him in the underworld. He wouldn't feel safe with the small ones. So he wanted them to make the real size ones. The scxt didn't mention they hired foreigner "barbarian." So this exluded the possibility of hiring foreigners.
I will imagine the emperor's craftsmen must be very skillful. Also The director said every figurants they uncovered has its own unique physical features such as ears mouth arms etc... This is different from Greek.
Flatulentus David Hoffman 2h ago
Is that not a bit racist to view foreigners as barbarians? And what if those foreigners then develop interesting technology would the Chinese just ignore it and risk the use of the foreigners being able to use it against them? That would be naive.
把外国人看成是野蛮人不是一个种族主义者吗？ 如果那些外国人开发有趣的技术，中国人会忽略它，冒着使用外国人的风险吗？ 这真是naive.
David Hoffman 4h ago
Xian to Xinjian is around 1600 miles and it is separated by a big desert Gobi virtually impassibly. If that is easily Europeans now might have coexist with Chinese in China today.
Just some European DNA discoveries in Xinjian at that period doesn't mean there is a lix to Xian unless some European DNA is also discovered at the Xian site. I mean if East Asian DNA found in Europe doesn't it mean Chinese found European civilization. Xinjian is far away from Xian.
HerrPrincip 4h ago
Imagine this! A positive synergy of two major world civilization to which Anglo-Saxons-Normans-Vikings-Celts-Picts-Druids contributed absolutely nothing.
It can't be. It must be a typo. Cecil Rhodes must be rolling in his grave :-)))
想象一下！ 两个主要的世界文明的积极协同作用，盎格鲁 - 撒克逊 - 诺曼 - 维京人 - 凯尔特 - 皮克特 - 德鲁伊斯绝对没有贡献。
根本不可能能。 它必须是拼写错误。 塞西尔·罗德斯必须在他的坟墓蹦迪:-)）））
vegremuse 5h ago
You would think this Greek artisan working on the world's biggest sculpture project would write home and tell his family or friends about it. Where are those letters or anything that's written about this man from Greece. DNA only place him in the area but does not tell what he does. Nice try!!!!
HerrPrincip vegremuse 4h ago
You would think that this Greek artisan preferred to die and be buried in China rather than relive another 8000 km horseback ride through the Gobi desert.
David Hoffman HerrPrincip 4h ago
You and the horse will die of thirst. Gobi desert is huge. No horses will survive for such long travel.
HerrPrincip David Hoffman 4h ago
What if I ride on the horse's ass like...Hillary?
StephenChin 5h ago
The Chinese do not need westerners to teach them anything. Marco Polo brought home noodles (spaghetti) when he returned to Italy. The Chinese invented printing centuries before the west. Their ceramic masterpieces are priceless found in the world's museums. They invented gun powder long before the west. They were clad in silk robes when the west were wearing animal skins. Their calligraphy contain priceless works of art The have every reason to name their country The Middle Kingdom (the center of the world). They are the most resilient people on earth. Today the Dragon is awakening from a long sleep.