The Terracotta Warriors — Geocache of the Week

Traditional Cache
by Ushaci
N 34° 23.069 E 109° 16.424

For thousands of years, humans have speculated about what lies beyond death. Will it be bright? Dark? Scary?

For the first emperor of China, Qin, this question inspired an unprecedented nationwide construction project; the fruits of this labor are known as the Terracotta Warriors, funerary art on a grand scale. 

Today, a geocache with over 200 Favorite points acts as our compass through time and discovery

The People’s Republic of China is an immense nation, one of the most populous on Earth. Its contemporary cityscapes hide a predominantly agricultural origin. In 1974, farmer Yang Zhifa discovered the largest tomb in Chinese history while digging for a freshwater well. Today, this tomb is known as the Qin Shihuang Museum, named for China’s first emperor and the first unifier of the country.

Image by Daniele Darolle. Courtesy of BBC. 

Concerned about what lay ahead after his death, Emperor Qin ordered the construction of thousands of sculptures to protect him in the afterlife. Today, visitors worldwide flock to Xi’an to witness the over 8,000 unique soldiers that stand today. Each is decorated in its own unique style, and no two are exactly alike. 

Image from the Public Domain.

Yet, for geocachers, the excitement doesn’t end there! A tricky geocache offers a challenge to even the most senior geocacher. To begin this unique geocaching experience, visitors make their way from the city center to Xiahe Village to take in the museum firsthand. As you enter the mausoleum, the enormity of the space and the history behind it is overwhelming. 

Image from the Public Domain.

Right outside the exhibit lies a nondescript street with a secret… Thick ivy conceals potential hiding places, making this geocache a challenge.

Image by Nordström.

As you examine possible hiding places, the challenge grows. Is that the right shade of green for the container? Did I already look there? Will I be able to find the elusive cache? Although these are normal questions, something is certainly out of place.

Image by cachen-in.

A cleverly placed terracotta rock protects the geocache. The names of prior adventurers from around the globe who managed to locate this devious cache line the pages of the logbook. 

Image by Chigryaymaria.

Before your departure, take one last look at the face of a Terracotta Warrior. Sculpted thousands of years ago, it remains a sentry, watchful of all who come to this unique setting. A visit to this site, and the hunt for the cache, leave you with some of life’s fundamental truths. Life is short, and what happens after remains a mystery. Armed with this food for thought, you can bring it with you to your next cache, just a little bit wiser. 

Image by Adventurers5.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Adam is a Community Manager at Geocaching HQ. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, you can find him laying out for a catch in ultimate frisbee, playing the baritone sax, or lacing up his boots to cache on a PNW hike.