Terracotta Warriors Makes Its Only East Coast Stop This Fall At The Franklin Institute

The 2,000-year-old clay statues return to Philly for the first time in 30 years...

Opening this fall, The Franklin Institute’s dramatic Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition reveals the secrets behind the 2,000-year-old army of clay statues that guarded the tomb of China’s first emperor until their discovery in 1974.


  • Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor runs from September 30, 2017 to March 4, 2018.
  • Philadelphia is the only East Coast stop for this massive exhibition.
  • The exhibition features 10 life-size Terracotta Warriors and 170-plus other artifacts.
  • Tickets are now available.

The Franklin Institute is the only East Coast stop for this monumental exhibition, which sheds light on the science, culture and craft of the stoic, silent guards.

The exhibition was developed by The Franklin Institute and the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Philadelphia and Seattle are the only stops on this exhibition’s two-city tour.

Terracotta Warriors at The Franklin Institute
(Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)
Guests can check out…

  • 10 life-size clay structures
  • Ancient weapons
  • Jade pieces
  • Gold ornaments
  • Bronze chariot replicas
  • And more…

Exhibition Overview

Ten life-size clay structures from the burial complex of China’s First Emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, will be on view in Philadelphia for the first time in 30 years.

The sculptures were discovered in 1974 by a farmer who found terracotta fragments buried underground. The Terracotta Warriors, hailing from about 210 BCE, were found largely intact “guarding” the tomb of China’s first emperor.

The historic sculptures are individually displayed in the exhibition and include a general, an armored officer, a kneeling archer, a saddled horse and a kneeling musician.

In addition to the 10 life-size clay structures, more than 170 other artifacts from a number of dynasties — re-Qin, Qin and Han — will be on view throughout the 16,000-square-foot exhibition. Artifacts include weapons, jade pieces, ceremonial vessels, gold ornaments, an ornate bronze chariot replicas and more hailing from thousands of years ago.

Science and Technology

The exhibition explores how science, technology and innovation impacted the discovery and excavation of the clay structures and the important role science played in the construction of the statues.

Terracotta Warriors uses exciting multimedia technology and hands-on activities to teach guests about the excavation site, the archaeological findings and the development of a unified China.

Science and technology also take the forefront in this exhibition as the museum employs the use of augmented reality, which will help visitors learn more closely about history, archaeology and science in the world of discovery and preservation.

Inside of The Franklin Institute’s Tuttleman IMAX Theater, Mysteries of China will play to complement the exhibition.

Terracotta Warriors
(Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)
Learn about the Terracotta Warrior statues via augmented reality, interactive installations, ancient artifacts, films and more in this exciting exhibition.

How To Get Tickets

Note that access to this exhibition is not included in the price of general admission to the museum.

Tickets to Terracotta Warriors for non-member adults are $35 per person and tickets for non-member children (ages 3-11) are $30 per person. The special exhibition tickets include admission to the museum.

Evening admission is also available for guests of this exhibition. Evening admission is discounted — $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-11) — and does not include general admission to the museum.

Admission to Terracotta Warriors is $10 for members of The Franklin Institute during both daytime and evening hours. Tickets are available online. An audio tour is available for an additional $6 per person.

The exhibition opens on September 30, 2017 and runs through March 4, 2018.

Stay tuned for more on this exciting peek into ancient history!

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute

When:September 30-March 4, 2018
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$35, daytime admission for non-member adults; $30, daytime admission non-member children; $20, evening admission for non-member adults; $15, evening admission for non-member children; $10, members




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  1. This exhibition was fabricated by Philadelphia’s own Universal Services Associates, (buildwithusa.com) and heavily designed and researched by the Franklin Institute themselves!

    Go Philly!

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