Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Forbidden Gardens

Last week, we went to Forbidden Gardens in Katy, TX ( )with one of our homeschool groups. I took this photos with my regular 35mm camera & scanned it. Unfortunately, the scanned image doesn't look as good as the original. I had a lot of other very good photos and I'm still trying to figure out how to get them on this blog better.
There are 2 main parts to Forbidden Gardens. The first part is a 1/3 scale replica of the First Emperor's 6,000 piece terra cotta army. Emperor Qin had these statues buried to protect him "in the afterlife." The real ones in China are each unique and were posed for by his soldiers. We learned so many fascinating things about this buried army!
The 2nd main part is a miniature replica of many of the buildings in the Forbidden City, the home of the Imperial family. Again, the guide told us many fascinating things!
Besides these two main sections, there were other items to see. We saw their weapons, learned about their armor (they had to make their own, earn each piece, and it was a sign of cowardice to wear a helmet!), saw how they made the buildings in the Forbidden City (no nails or screws, they put it together kind of like Lincoln Logs), a shoe of a lady who had her feet bound (how they actually did this was different than I thought), and other things. I'll try to remember more details and add it later.
The only book we read about it (in fact, we're still finishing it), is The Emperor's Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by O'Connor. In fact, the author said she wrote it because she hadn't found any other book about it for children.
Update: A friend we were with emailed me a few pictures, so I added them in June.

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