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The First Emperor:
China's Terracotta Army

13 September 2007 – 6 April 2008

Exhibition closed

Reading Room

Sponsored by Morgan Stanley

"Exhibition of the year", Independent
"Endlessly fascinating", Observer
"Spell-binding", Sunday Times
"Awe-inspiring", Sunday Telegraph
"Wonderfully theatrical", Evening Standard
"You must see this show", The Times

The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army explored one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century, giving an insight into China’s First Emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, and his legacy.

The exhibition included a number of the world-famous terracotta warriors from Xi'an, China, which were buried alongside the First Emperor in readiness for the afterlife, as well as some of the most striking recent discoveries made on the site.

In introducing the idea of a unified state and effectively creating China in 221 BC, the First Emperor of Qin created what is today the oldest surviving political entity in the world. The exhibition and related events explored how that state has survived, developed and is viewed today.

Further information

  • Total number of visitors: Over 850,000
  • Total number of school visits: 11,000 students

Read the full press release

Buy the exhibition catalogue
Buy the exhibition giftbook

First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army

First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army