A terra-cotta head, unearthed in 1974 by farmers digging a well near Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, led to an extraordinary archaeological discovery. Thus far three enormous pits have been uncovered, holding over 7,000 life-size ceramic figures comprising the army of Qin Shihuangdi, the self-styled "First Emperor of Qin," who crushed all rival states and ruled supreme in China by 221 BCE. His construction projects were as gigantic as his ambition: he conceived and began the Great Wall; and his mausoleum, begun when he ascended the throne and still unfinished at his death in 210 BCE, has an outer perimeter of over two kilometers. The soldiers, larger than life and originally painted in bright colors, differ in facial features, height, build, and hairstyles. Posture and gesture as well as type of uniform differentiate bowmen from spearmen from charioteers. Insignia, dress, and headgear distinguish commanders, officers, and common soldiers. The "pits" are actually each a series of parallel trenches, in which the troops seem to be arranged in battle formation. Qin Shihuangdi's mausoleum, not yet excavated, may reveal his conception of the spirit world. His army shows his concern with accurate representation of the living world, on a scale befitting an emperor.