Terra Cotta Pit No. 3
You reach Pit No. 3 by walking 25 meters north from Pit No. 1. It was discovered within a month after the archeologists had found Pit No. 2. It is a concave structure of 520 square meters. There are 68 warriors, four horses and one chariot. No battle formation.
Pit No.3 is located 25 metres to the north of Pit No.1 and to the west of Pit No.2. The plane of the pit is of concave shape totaling about 520 square metres. Out of the pit were unearthed one chariot, four terra-cotta horses and 68 clay armored warriors. To its east there is a sloping entrance, 11.2 metres long, 3.7 metres wide, opposite which is a chariot and horse house. On both sides of the house, there is a winging room, in which were unearthed 64 pottery figurines. The arrangement of the pottery figurines is quite different from those in Pits No.1 and No.2 in which the warriors are placed in the battle formation. But those in Pit No.3 are arrayed opposite to each other along the walls, in two rows. Even the weapons held by the warriors in Pit No.3 were only discovered one kind of weapon called "shu", which had no blades and are believed to be used by the guards of honor. Unearthed also in this pit was a remaining sacrificial of offerings and war prayers were practiced. Judging by the layout of the pit, it is likely the headquarters directing the mighty underground army.
Both warriors in Pit 1 and Pit 2 are arrayed in line of battle, but figurines in Pit 3 are standing face to face with a passageway between them. Obviously, they are the guards of the command post. These strong guards all wear heavy armors with vivid facial expressions, which reflect peculiar spirit and character of ancient warriors.
Most outstanding characters in Pit 3 is the unearthed ancient weapons. Spears, swords, knives can be found in 3 pits, but only a kind of weapon called “Shu” (shaped like spear but without blade) in Pit 3. Shu is powerful weapon in hand-to-hand combat, and often used in honour guard.
In period of the Warring States (475 - 221 BC), the ruler often took sacrifice in order to pray for success before the war. In the rite, the augur drilled a hole on turtle shell or cattle scapula, and then burn it until crack appeared. According to this crack, augur can foresee the result of the war. Unearthed relics in Pit 3 including remains of animals just prove historians’ assumption is right.
Why many of the Qin Terracotta Warriors unearthed in the Pit 3 do not have heads?
It is believed that these warriors did have heads when they were originally produced. Archaeologists specul ated that at some point vandals broke into this pit and deliberately destroyed the warriors. During the archaeological excavation, a villager revealed that he dig out half of a warrior's head in the southern wall of what is now the Qin Terracotta Warriors Museum. He returned the head and archaeologists searched across the various body pieces for a match. Finally, they matched it to a warrior body discovered in the Pit 3. This is one example of how many of the heads have been lost outside of the pit.
Although Pit 3 is smaller than both Pit 1 and Pit 2, archaeologists spent all of 1977 finishing the excavation of this pit. Because its contents were not burned like those in the other pits, the terracotta warriors unearthed in this pit are more splendid than those found in the other two.