SECRETS OF THE DEAD: China’s Terracotta Warriors
Airs Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The extraordinary story of China’s 8,000 terracotta warriors begins two centuries before the birth of Christ. The first emperor of China was preparing an extravagant tomb for his journey into the afterlife — and decreed that he be protected forever by a monumental army.
Since then no one has seen these ancient warriors in their original splendor, brightly painted and fully armed, ready to protect their Emperor for all eternity. Now this once mighty army will be returned to its former glory for the first time. Row upon row of life-size, lavishly painted warriors will rise from the dust of two millennia.
But how was a terracotta army of this size made in less than two years using the technology of 2200 years ago? Led by archaeologist Agnes Hsu, SECRETS OF THE DEAD shows that the Chinese may have Henry Ford beat by more than 2,000 years with their own assembly line used to produce the 8,000-strong ghost army.