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  • What happens after death?


  • Is there a restful paradise?


  • An eternal torment?


  • A rebirth?


  • Or maybe just nothingness?


  • Well, one Chinese emperor thought that whatever the "hereafter" was, he'd better bring an army.


  • We know that because in 1974, farmers digging a well near their small village stumbled upon one of the most important finds in archeological history:

    我們知道這件事是因為 1974 年,農夫們在小村莊附近挖井時,無意中找到考古學史上最重要的發現之一:

  • vast underground chambers surrounding that emperor's tomb and containing more than 8,000 life-sized clay soldiers, ready for battle.


  • The story of the subterranean army begins with Ying Zheng, who came to power as the king of the Qin state at the age of 13 in 246 BCE.

    這支地下軍隊的故事要從嬴政開始說起,西元前 246,年僅十三歲的嬴政即位掌權,成為秦國的皇帝。

  • Ambitious and ruthless, he would go on to become Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China after uniting its 7 warring kingdoms.


  • His 36-year reign saw many historic accomplishments, including a universal system of weights and measures,

    在位 36 年期間,他完成了許多歷史創舉,包括統一度量衡、

  • a single standardized writing script for all of China, and a defensive barrier that would later come to be known as the "Great Wall".


  • But perhaps Qin Shi Huang dedicated so much effort to securing his historical legacy because he was obsessed with his mortality.


  • He spent his last years desperately employing alchemists and deploying expeditions in search of elixirs of life that would help him achieve immortality.


  • And as early as the first year of his reign, he began the construction of a massive underground necropolis,


  • filled with monuments, artifacts, and an army to accompany him into the next world and continue his rule.


  • This magnificent army is still standing in precise battle formation and is split across several pits.


  • One contains a main force of 6,000 soldiers, each weighing several hundred pounds.

    其中一個坑道內有個 6000 個士兵的主力部隊,每個士兵重達數百磅。

  • A second has more than 130 war chariots and over 600 horses and a third houses the High Command.

    第二處有超過 130 輛雙輪戰車及超過 600 匹馬。第三處則存放著高階將領。

  • An empty fourth pit suggests that the grand project could not be finished before the Emperor's death.


  • In addition, nearby chambers contain figures of musicians and acrobats, workers and government officials, and various exotic animals,


  • indicating that Emperor Qin had more plans for the afterlife than simply waging war.


  • All the figurines are sculpted from terracotta, or baked earth, a type of reddish-brown clay.

    所有雕像都是用陶瓦(經燒烤過的土)雕刻而成 -- 一種紅棕色的黏土。

  • To construct them, multiple workshops and reportedly over 720,000 laborers were commandeered by the emperor,

    為了建造它們,皇帝徵用了多個工作坊,據說有超過 72 萬名工人參與。

  • including groups of artisans who molded each body part separately to construct statues as individual as the real warriors in the Emperor's army.


  • They stand according to rank and feature different weapons and uniforms, distinct hairstyles and expressions, and even unique ears.


  • Originally, each warrior was painted in bright colors, but their exposure to air caused the paint to dry and flake, leaving only the terracotta base.


  • It is for this very reason that another chamber less than a mile away has not been excavated.


  • This is the actual tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, reported to contain palaces, precious stones and artifacts, and even rivers of mercury flowing through mountains of bronze.


  • But until a way can be found to expose it without damaging the treasures inside, the tomb remains sealed.


  • Emperor Qin was not alone in wanting company for his final destination.


  • Ancient Egyptian tombs contain clay models representing the ideal afterlife.


  • The dead of Japan's Kofun period were buried with sculptures of horses and houses, and the graves of the Jaina island off the Mexican coast are full of ceramic figurines.


  • Fortunately, as ruthless as he was, Emperor Qin chose to have servants and soldiers built for this purpose, rather than sacrificing living ones to accompany him,

    幸運的是,即使他是這麼冷酷無情,秦始皇選擇鑄造奴僕和士兵來達成他的目的, 而不是犧牲活人來陪葬,

  • as had been practiced in Egypt, West Africa, Anatolia, parts of North America, and even China during the previous Shang and Zhou dynasties.


  • And today, people travel from all over the world to see these stoic soldiers silently awaiting their battle orders for centuries to come.


What happens after death?


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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 皇帝 士兵 雕像 陵墓 軍隊

【TED-Ed】中國兵馬俑的歷史 (The incredible history of China's terracotta warriors - Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen)

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    Joyce Lee 發佈於 2022 年 08 月 07 日