Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last Stop ... Terra Cotta Warriors

Our last stop on our vacation (no, you didn't miss a post ... I'm going in reverse order just to confuse you) was the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

We saw the exhibits on the Terra Cotta Warriors from China and Genghis Khan. They were astounding. I'll talk about Genghis Khan tomorrow.

The museum had 13 life-sized warriors on display, in addition to horses, chariots, and many other artifacts. I was truly amazed by the sheer number of soldiers that this emperor had crafted.

The Houston Museum has a page, "Make Me a Terra Cotta Warrior!," where a kid (and adults too!) can upload their photo and create a warrior.

The photo on the right is taken outside the exhibit. This "warrior" was featured on the 2009 National Geography Bee, and gave everyone a surprise. They wheeled him out on a dolly, and at the end of the question regarding the location of the site in China, he leaned forward and waved to the audience. I asked him if he was the same person at the Bee, and he nodded slowly, staying perfectly in character. Because of all our dealings with the Bee, we (especially G!) were thrilled to see him in person. He was absolutely astounding with his ability to look exactly like clay. At the exhibit, he stood in a corner, looking for all the world like a replica that you could get close to. He made unsuspecting museum-goers practically pee in their pants as they approached close to him and he moved unexpectedly. He had the whole crowd laughing.

Click here to see photos of these remarkable figures.

I hope this is one of those events that the kids will remember for a long, long time.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy "Where the Hell Is Matt?"

Image of terra cotta warrior from the Houston museum site


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I would never ever have known about a) this exhibit and even if I had seen an ad for it, I would have b) had no idea what it was about.

    We'll definitely go see it when we go to Houston in Sept.

  2. Wow, you tempt me to go see that exhibit! I love the thought of all those people being freaked out by the "live" warrior, too. :-)

  3. Very cool. Had no idea this was in Houston.

  4. We had so much fun seeing this exhibit! Thanks for setting it up. It was perfect timing for us and something we've been meaning to do for so long.

  5. Camille, Fortworth has art museums, in case you didn't know. And San Antonio has the Witte museum where we say the Da Vinci exhibit that was perhaps the best exhibit I have ever seen. I guess I feel that way because I am so amazed by the man Da Vinci. This exhibit was the woodwork corresponding to his drawings (which's how he imagined his science experiments - as drawings, of complex machines). It was called "Simple machines" I think. Don't miss it if you hear about it.

  6. Yes, I agree about the Da Vinci exhibit. Truly remarkable. We've been back to the Witte, but the other exhibits pale to the Da Vinci one. The kids still talk about it. The Terra Cotta exhibit was great, but the Da Vinci exhibit was like no other, especially since you could actually touch and climb inside a lot of the pieces.