I am glad I could spend some time to explore a part of the first Chinese emperor's mausoleum in Second Life (SL) this morning before I got stuck in my morning ritual. It was totally amazing. When I teleported to the site,  I felt like I experienced what John Man wrote on his book "The Terra Cotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation." (Oh well...almost. lol)

John Man started his journey from Xian, the place where the terracotta army was found and I started my journey right in front of a dark cave with a narrow opening in SL. There was a huge mound near the cave that I assumed was the Qin emperor's tomb.

The cave tunnel was dark and creepy. At the end of the tunnel, there were three pits with terracotta armies in them. I read the book and it was said that initially there were four pits in the location but one pit was not filled by the time the construction ceased. According to the book, there were more than 8000 terracotta warriors uncovered from the ground. I was sure the number of warriors at the burial site in SL was not that many. I could find many horses in the pits but no chariots as described in the book. 

One might ask this about this virtual replica of the terracotta army: How can we even learn if the replica of real historic place in virtual world is not accurate? Funny enough, I learned a lot from the inaccuracy of terracotta army in SL. It motivated me to read John Man's book to find the claws in the replica. I kept the book for a while because I found description after description in the book confusing. With no pictures at all in the book, except maps, I couldn't relate myself to the first emperor of China through what he had left behind. 

Honestly, because the replica of the terracotta army I visited in SL was not very accurate, I didn't feel like I visited just another tourism spot in China with crowds everywhere. The solemnness of the terracotta army burial site in SL helped me imagine the towering personalities of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, who combined leadership, vision and, RUTHLESSNESS.

Hey, did I tell you that I could walk through the pits and be among the earthen warriors? I must say you will not come this close to the warriors even if you can afford to go to Xian, unless you are Queen Elizabeth II of course.  And you cannot possibly keep a set of terracotta army for your class in real life but in virtual world, you can have the virtual version of them for just 1700 L$ (7 US$ / 65.000 rupiah) Happy exploring! 

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