Today was our day to head downtown and see the member's preview of the special Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit at the Field Museum. This was such a fantastic deal for us. Not only did we get to see the exhibit in a calm and uncrowded atmosphere, but it was a real family deal and all children in the immediate family were included at no cost. (This is increasingly not always the case, so I feel the need to really thank museums when they have true family membership deals.) J. was even able to take off from work to come with us, a double treat.
We arrived in plenty of time, so there was the mandatory visit to Sue, the resident T-Rex.
Plus, there was a chance to hold real, honest-to-goodness, prehistoric dinosaur poop. Who wouldn't turn that down?
H. with prehistoric poop (and R. peeking out behind.)
Then it was time to head to the exhibit. We also had P. and TM with us, but they decided they would rather play photographer than be photographed.
The exhibit was very well done. Some of the objects were replicas, such as this chariot...
and these figures showing how they believe the warriors and other figures had been painted.
But much of it was the real deal as well, such as this court administrator,
and these other figures.
A terra cotta horse.
Older children waiting for their parents to finish reading every sign.
These are wooden blocks with characters and character components written on them. You can see some of the empty blocks with components which surround smaller ones and into which you can insert various characters to create It is very unique and I had never seen anything like it. (I will admit that my good friend who saw the exhibit yesterday gave me a heads up about it, so I knew to look.) Y. was particularly taken with it and seeing characters which she knew as like seeing old friends. There are enough options that I believe you could create almost any character you would need.
Here's what the box looks like for those who are interested. Sorry there is no English on it anywhere. Maybe one of my Mandarin reading readers can translate what it's called.
It was marvelous to be able to see some of the actual warriors, but now we all really, really want to go to Xi'an to see the real things. Wouldn't that be fun... with everyone in tow? Maybe we could also make a quick trip to Chengdu to see the panda research station as well.
If you can't make the exhibit or jet off to Xi'an, there is a great children's book about the warriors. I was actually a little surprised that the gift shop wasn't selling it. It's Ming's Adventures with the Terra Cotta Army: A Story in English and Chinese by Li Jian.