IBJOpinion

LOU'S VIEWS: Children’s Museum brings 2,200-year-old statues to Indy

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Lou Harry

Visitors to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis have long been able to make like an archeologist and attempt to rebuild a replica of a Terra Cotta Warrior from shattered pieces in the museum’s Discover Ancient Mysteries exhibit.
 

ae-cutoutmain-c-kneeling-archer-1col.jpg Each warrior has a unique face (Photo courtesy of The Children’s Museum)

But now, things have gotten real.

The world-class exhibit “Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army” (through Nov. 2) features that same faux-warrior rebuild. But it also displays actual 2,200-year-old artifacts—including eight full-size warriors. The restoration, this time, is left up to the experts.

The no-two-alike clay warriors—an estimated 8,000 of them—are believed to have been ordered by Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, to protect himself on his after-death journey. Buried with the emperor in China’s Shaanxi Province, the army of clay statues was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well in their battle against drought.

Well, the rest is history.

The farmers had stumbled onto one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the modern age—a series of underground vaults spread over a 22-square-mile area (Subtle, Qin Shi Huangdi clearly was not).

And, as informative graphics at the exhibition show, there’s lots still to be discovered at the site, where uncovering of more pieces is being paced to keep up with preservation efforts of the artifacts. Who knows what cultural riches lie under the burial mound, which has yet to be explored?


ae-e-chariot-15col.jpg Azrtifacts include an intricate carriage and horse team. (Photo courtesy of The Children’s Museum)

Methodically pieced together, the warriors are individually striking but invite an even greater awe when considered collectively. It’s a project comparable to the building of the Great Pyramids. But, until now, it was rarely possible to get this close to them, especially in the United States.

A big plus is that exhibit designers have created relevant, unobtrusive interactives to go along with the display pieces. Adults can marvel at the warriors while kids can sculpt original faces, create their own miniature armies, or guess what materials were used to create the ancient paints that once covered but have long since worn off these marvels.

Of course, grown-ups might find themselves drawn to these hands-on activities, too, just as you might find kids spending time staring into the cryptic eyes of the warrior statues, trying to imagine the time of their creation and marveling at the fact that they are still with us.

Making its only U.S. appearance, the exhibit coincides with the Children’s Museum’s “Take Me There: China” exhibition, taking over the spot that housed “Take Me There: Egypt.”

This time, the play jet takes visitors to Beijing, for a look at daily life and celebrations (but, of course, nothing more controversial than herbal medicine). Kids can visit a contemporary high-rise condo, operate a Chinese restaurant, play veterinarian to an under-the-weather stuffed panda, master the use of chopsticks, play Chinese instruments, or learn the intricacies of a tea ceremony.

Alas, the Children’s Museum food court has not expanded to include a noodle shop.

Note: “Take Me There: China” is included with museum admission. Terra Cotta Warriors requires an additional ticket ($10, adults; $5, youth; $7.50, seniors, with discounts for museum members) on top of the standard admission charge.•

__________

This column appears weekly. Send information on upcoming arts and entertainment events to lharry@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Cool view
    Great story on the real Terra Cotta Warriors from Xian, China. Lou nailed it when he said, "A big plus is that exhibit designers have created relevant, unobtrusive interactives to go along with the display pieces." I'm one of the grownups who finds herself drawn to the hands-on interactive stations :)

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

ADVERTISEMENT