The mythical emperor

Learn more about the man behind the myth

Until a few decades ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi, was a mythical person. But with the discovery of the terracotta army in 1974, his person and his accomplishments became real and tangible. It quickly became apparent that reality surpassed the myth – far more than anyone could have imagined.

The story of the first emperor of China is also the story of the man who - with an unprecedented brutality and cynicism - united the Chinese empire and began constructing the Great Wall of China more than two thousand years ago.

The story takes place approximately during the same period of time as the life of the Grauballe Man, whose body is displayed at Moesgaard Museum. The Grauballe Man was the victim of a human sacrifice in a bog in Denmark and is the world’s best preserved bog body.

The temporary exhibition The First Emperor – China’s Terracotta Army will introduce Danish and international visitors to a remarkable and significant era in Chinese history.

While the personal story of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and his spectacular achievements is the focal point of Moesgaard Museum’s exhibition, the exhibition also aims to increase interest in Chinese history and culture in general. Even though the Emperor’s Tomb is one of the most well-known archeological sensations of our time, few people know of the dramatic story behind it.

Moesgaard’s own design studio is constructing the exhibition in the museum’s 900 square meters large gallery for temporary exhibitions.