Thursday, May 26, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Faithful unto (and after) Death
In spring 1974, a number of farmers near Xi’an (a famous Chinese cultural city) discovered some ancient bronze weapons and pieces of broken terra-cotta armoured warriors while sinking a well. This turned out to be one of the most amazing archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century. Excavations since then have found 1800 terra-cotta warriors although it is estimated that there are at least 6000 more still to be excavated. The terra-cotta warriors are in battle formation and include cavalry, infantry and charioteers. They are a replica of the Qin army and were created over 2200 years ago. A high level of technological skill was needed for this to be possible. This ancient society was powerful and technologically advanced.
Qin Shi Huang (259-210BC) was the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and he was the founder of China’s first empire. He expanded his military strength building an army of one million professional soldiers. He started the construction of the Great Wall.
In preparation for his death he built a replica of his kingdom underground and he was finally laid to rest in the underground palace at its centre. It took over 720 000 people, 37 years to build.
The terra-cotta army were created to defend his underground kingdom from attack. When they were first found it was believed that the terra-cotta warriors are all individually designed, based the faces of the Emperors actual soldiers. However, it has since been proved that all the soldiers are based on ten basic designs.
All images from Google
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Sacrifice..the Privilege of Free Men
Son of a prominent Boston abolitionist family, Robert Shaw was serving as a captain in the 2nd Massachusetts when he was tapped by Massachusetts Governor John Andrew for a special assignment. Shaw was to raise and command the first regiment of black troops organized in a Northern state.
All the previous 11 colored" regiments had been raised principally from freed slaves in occupied areas. Shaw went about the organization of his command, recruiting free blacks from all over New England and some from beyond. The regiment was mustered into service on May 13, 1863, with Shaw as its colonel, and was sent to the South Carolina coast to take part in the operations against the cradle of secession, Charleston.
On July 18, 1863, he led the 54th, in conjunction with two brigades of white troops, in an assault on Confederate Battery Wagner. In the unsuccessful charge, the black troops proved themselves to be fully capable of standing up to enemy fire but lost about one quarter of their men, including Colonel Shaw. The rebels in the battery were so outraged by the Union commanders arming blacks that they decided to insult the white officer by burying him in a common grave with his black enlisted men. But Shaw's parents, when they heard of it, were pleased and believed that was the way their son would have wanted it.
This image (altered) is on the monument to the Masschusetts 54th Regiment in Boston. The flag is a background paper from Scrapbook Flair and the border is from Skeletalmess (Jerry Jones, of Shadowhouse.) I found the quote on a WW1 war poster
Saturday, May 7, 2011
When we look up, it widens our horizons. We see what a little speck we are in the universe, so insignificant, and we all take ourselves so seriously, but in the sky, there are no boundaries.
I cannot believe that some of us who are participating in this challenge are finished with 100 Themes already. When you have some time you might want to visit Grannie Annie's and Junibear's 100 Themes blogs and see the amazing bodies of work they have created. You will surely be dazzled , amazed and perhaps even moved to tears as I was.
Credits for my piece go to Julia Gregson, for the inspiring quote, the fabulous photos taken by the Hubble Space telescope, which are free to download for personal use, the text piece from the Graphics Fairy, and the beautiful face from Google images