China's First Emperor

and the Terracotta Warriors
9 February - 28 October 2018
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Exhibition over

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About this exhibition

For over 2,000 years, an underground army of life-sized terracotta warriors secretly guarded the tomb of China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, until a chance discovery in 1974 unlocked the mysteries of a vanished empire.


Showcasing objects from one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, this unmissable exhibition spanned almost 1,000 years of Chinese history; from the conflicts and chaos of the Warring States period, to the achievements and legacy of the Qin and Han dynasties. 

The exhibition included a number of objects that had never been on show in the UK before, including material from museums and institutes from across Shaanxi Province, excavated over the last 40 years from the Imperial Mausoleum and selected tombs. These spectacular artefacts shed light on the Emperor's pursuit of immortality and showed how he prepared for the afterlife, as well as helped us to understand more about everyday life in China more than two thousand years ago.

This exhibition was organised by National Museums Liverpool, United Kingdom and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre), People’s Republic of China.

This exhibition was a major part of Liverpool’s 2018 celebrations and the city embraced its Far East links during the exhibition’s run, with a special China Dream season.


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William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN

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Exhibition supported by

Tianjin Airlines logo

Keynote partner

Wendy Wu tours

Major partners

Foyle Foundation logo

Swire Charitable Trust logo

Unilever logo


Quilter Cheviot logo

View a full list of our partnerships.


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