Major Exhibition Terracotta Warriors Of The First Emperor Now Open At The Franklin Institute In Philadelphia

The 2,000-year-old clay statues make their only East Coast stop in Philly this fall...

More than 2,000 years ago, a massive 38-square-mile burial site for the First Qin Emperor of China was constructed by 700,000 workers over the course of around 30 years. Standing watch over the First Emperor’s mausoleum were 8,000 clay soldiers and other figures — all of which guarded the tomb and remain undiscovered until 1974.

Now, for the first time in 30 years, 10 artifacts from the tomb are on display here in Philadelphia, thanks to an exhibition created by a partnership between The Franklin Institute and Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.


  • Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor runs from September 30 to March 4, 2018.
  • The Franklin Institute is the only East Coast stop on exhibition’s two-city tour.
  • The exhibition features an (AR) experience designed specifically for the Philadelphia appearance.

Exhibition Overview

You’ll begin your journey back in time with a theatrical presentation of the moment of the tomb’s discovery in Xi’an, China in 1974, when a group of farmers digging a well unearthed one of the greatest archeological finds in recent history.

From there, act like a historical investigator, uncovering the story of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi piece-by-piece and exploring the scientific and strategic advances he introduced.

Look for an immersive reproduction of the burial chamber, where ranks of terracotta soldiers safeguarded the royal resting place, and the archeological site, where scientific advances continue.

Over 170 additional artifacts, carefully curated from museums around the People’s Republic of China, give additional insight into the period.

(Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)
In its only East Coast appearance, Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor  includes…

  • 10 life-size clay structures
  • 170+ other artifacts
  • Augmented reality
  • Jade and gold pieces
  • Bronze chariot replicas
  • And more…

Augmented Reality App

Be sure to download the exhibition’s AR app to fully reveal the story of the warriors’ creation.

The app’s augmented reality technology allows you to interact with the sculptures and the weapons the clay warriors once wielded.

The original objects, made of wood and other perishable materials, all but disintegrated during the warriors’ time underground but the app fills in the gaps and expands on the archaeology, history and science behind the warriors and artifacts.

(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.

Programs and Events

If the exhibition leaves your curiosity burning to know more about ancient China, head to the Tuttleman IMAX® Theater for a screening of the film Mysteries in China. Released in October of last year, the film documents the new insight that the discovery of the terracotta army gives us into China’s past.

You’ll also have the chance to bring your curiosity back home. A secondary feature of the exhibition’s AR app allows you to insert images of the terracotta soldiers into pictures you snap on the go.

Tickets and More

Tickets to the exhibition are now available on The Franklin Institute’s website. 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.

Don’t miss this exciting peek into ancient history!

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor

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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