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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Museums of Xi'an - History is no longer a mystery!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Museums of Xi'an - History is no longer a mystery!

Xian is considered the oldest of the four great ancient capitals of China and is home to some of the greatest museums in the world. Here is a list of must-see museums within Xian.


Shaanxi History Museum

One of the popular attractions, the Shaanxi History Museum is located towards the North West region of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. It contains an impressive array of ancient artefacts amounting to over 370,000. These include precious metallic objects, pottery, murals and paintings as well. An interesting feature here is The Lantian Man excavation, where any visitor can view fossils that are directly from this excavation. Believed to have lived almost 1.7 million years ago, the Lantian man is one of the oldest ancestors of the human race. Another interesting item would be the ornate jade seal that was found in a tomb belonging to the first emperor of the Han Dynasty. It is considered to be one of the most significant imperial seals to be found in the country. If you're looking for accommodation in Xian while visiting the museums on this list, Citadines Gaoxin Xian is one of many places situated close by.


Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses

This is probably the feature most known the world over. The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses features an astounding assortment of terracotta soldiers that date all the way back to the third century BCE. This impressive collection of over 8,000 soldiers were built for the first ruler of the unified Chinese states, namely emperor Qin Shi Huang. Most archaeologists believe that the army was crafted due to the emperor's belief that he could continue his rule in death as he had in life. Still studied by scholars all over the world, these statues were uncovered in 1974 by farmers. It is an absolute must see when you're in Xian.


Lintong Museum

With a collection of over 10,000 relics, the Lintong Museum will take you on a journey across centuries. You'll learn about Xian's culture and its rapid development over 7,000 years from prehistoric times all the way through to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The collection features over 548 Buddhist artefacts that are on permanent display, aiding to the museum's sacred quality. It also showcases rare items such as bronze-ware dating back to 771 BCE and gold and silver coffins that were excavated from the Tangqing-shan Temple.


Forest of Steles Museum

The collection of over 3,000 items at this museum, encompass a range of artefacts such as paintings, historical records and calligraphy. The origins of Chinese Christianity can be witnessed through the Nestorian Stele, which is a Tang Chinese carving that describes early Christian settlements. Visitors can purchase ink rubbings of the most prominent examples to own a little piece of history themselves.


Banpo Museum

This museum which is based around the excavated site of Banpo, features reconstructed houses and ornate earthenware from the Neolithic settlement. The site also includes a grave spectacle that showcases the bodily remains of many skeletal finds that highlights its historical value. Historical rumours suggest that Banpo was a matriarchal, or female-led society which makes it all the more valuable.