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We’ve come to see the Terracotta Warriors in Liverpool. This is not an Asian invasion, nor is it a takeover of armed foreign immigrants like the Daily Fail would have you believe, this exhibition at the World Museum shows a small number of the Terracotta Warriors in Liverpool as part of the China’s First Emperor and Terracotta Warriors exhibition.

Terracotta Warriors at Liverpool's World Museum
Terracotta Warriors at Liverpool’s World Museum

The terracotta warriors were discovered in 1974 and originally commissioned by China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang. There are thought to be around 8000 figures in total with only 2000 excavated so far. A sprawling tomb complex of burial pits 200 times larger than the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was discovered by villagers digging for a well in 1974. Little did they know they were about to unearth a Terracotta Army with 8000 life-sized individual soldiers.

China's first emperor Terracotta Warriors exhibition in Liverpool

Qin Shi Huang became the first ruler to unify China in 221 BC, and being obsessed with wanting to live forever, started assembling his army of the afterlife when he was 13 years old. He had a reputation as a cruel and ruthless ruler when he died at the age of 49. I’m 46 and only managed to lay a set of bricks for a greenhouse base that wont last my life time never mind 8000 warriors for the afterlife. Still, I’ve got time I suppose.

The exhibition is a timed event and we went for the last viewing of the day. We hoped this would reduce the number of people so we could get a decent view. It didn’t. There’s a large group of people for every showing which starts with what we could only assume was an enforced marketing film from the Chinese tourism board. In all honesty, it doesn’t take that long to wander through and it is a bit expensive at £15 per ticket but I guess that’s cheaper than flying to China.

Armoured General

Armoured General Terracotta Warriors Liverpool
Armoured General

The highest ranking warriors excavated from the burial pits with this one being discovered in 1976. Wearing scaled iron armour, he would also have been armed with a sword and commanded from a chariot.

Heavy Infantryman

Heavy Infantryman Liverpool Terracotta Warriors
Heavy Infantryman

This heavy infantryman was excavated in 1992 and would have formed part of the main battalion and would have been armed with a either sword, halberd or crossbow.

Light Infantryman

Light Infantryman from the Terracotta Warriors at Liverpool

Positioned at the front of the main battalion and likely a conscripted peasant. The light infantryman didn’t wear armour and were deployed first.

Military Officer

Miliatry Officer Liverpool terracotta Warriors
Military Officer

This unarmoured military officer was excavated in 1979 and likely held a spear.

Charioteer

Charioteer Terracotta Warrior
Charioteer Terracotta Warrior

This charioteer was excavated in 1977 and was originally buried with a real wooden chariot and drawn by four terracotta horses.

Kneeling Archer

Kneeling Archer Terracotta Warriors Liverpool
Kneeling Archer

This armoured archer was armed with a cxrossbowthat could shoot heavy bolts over long distances. It was slow to load but required less skill and strength to use.

Standing Archer

Standing Archer at the Terracotta Warrior exhibition in Liverpool
Standing Archer

Standing archers were all unarmoured and positioned at the front of the battalion.

 

This exhibition at Liverpool’s World Museum is on until late October.

You read that right, Prague has a sex machines museum. How nice of Prague to name a museum after me, sex machine is my middle name. The saucy shenanigans and coitus contraptions for sexual stimulation are enough to make your eyes water and certainly enough creative copulation contraptions of salacious sin to make even Ann Summers blush.

The erotic establishment just off Prague’s old town square is a collection of over 320 deviant devices, electrical erotica, mechanical masturbation machines from drill powered dildos to steam powered penis pumps. It’s another example of the weird and wacky and reminds me of the curious cock collection of the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

Size matters, which is why the owner has spent many years curating a collection covering 3 floors of filthy paraphernalia and ludicrous lovesticks. All manner of medieval mischief, Victorian vice, electro rumpy-pumpy, BDSM ball breakers, sex racks, love chairs and fetish face pieces await inside for you and your mischievous mistress viewing pleasure. Though these days its more likely to be a pixelated porn webmistress.

Complete with a old time peep show cinema or old erotic film, the Prague Sex Machines Museum is not everyone’s cup of tea, but at only 250 CZK, it’s worth a splurt.

You may also like… Top Picks of Prague

Weird things in jars. That’s how best to describe the Grant Museum of Zoology. Not for the squeamish, this offbeat museum in London is one of the oldest natural history museums in the country and is a collection of the weird, the wonderful and the wild.

 

In fact, it is crammed full of formaldehyde conversation pieces as “oooh” and ahhh” echo through the room stuffed with 68,000 zoological specimens, skeletons and species in crammed cases of curiosities.

 

The last time we looked at weird stuff preserved in jars was in Iceland at the Icelandic Phalollogical Museum. The Grant Museum is a rare collection of the critically endangered, the dead as a Dodo and rare remains. A Quagga skeleton, preserved brains, skinned cats, bisected monkey heads all make an appearance, even a glass jar of moles that has its own Twitter account @glassjarofmoles.

 

A superb space of slides, the Micrarium is a back-lit broom cupboard of microscope slides of over 2000 tiny specimens and sliced through small animals. Beetles, bugs, bits of mammoth and other dissected members of the animal kingdom grace this small place.

Species of sharks

 

The Grant Museum of Zoology dates from 1828 as a teaching collection and is a hands on museum with students studying and sampling. Even members of the public can get their hands dirty cleaning up pieces of whale bone at the #whaleweekender we saw this weekend. If that doesn’t do it for, you can adopt a specimen for £15.

It’s unique, its beautiful, its a bizarre bazaar of jars, the last zoology in museum in London deserves your time.

Living midway between two large East Midlands towns, I can count on one hand the times I’ve been to Derby. It doesn’t sound like the most appealing place, yet another homogenised high street but full of Derby County supporters with an alarming affection for sheep.

Viking sword from Repton at Derby museum
Viking sword from Repton at Derby museum

But I thought it may worth a look, after all, the Great Heathen Army (not Derby County fans this time – even if they are the great unwashed), that band of Vikings, decided to stop in nearby Repton for Winter in 873 AD. Turns out that some of them stayed far longer, 249 were found in a mass grave at Repton Church. Derby can do that to people.

Several graves were found, one, the Repton Viking Warrior, was 6 foot tall, aged 35-40 and killed in battle, he may quite possibly be Ivar The Boneless.  Buried with his sword and other items after dying from spear wounds on his skull and a massive cut to his upper thigh which may have removed his genitals.  Buried with things he needs for the afterlife, including his sword, jewels and a necklace with Thor’s Hammer.  Also in the grave was a boar’s tusk placed between his legs, a substitute for his penis to make his body complete for his trip to the viking afterlife in Valhalla.

Thor's Hammer and bead necklace from the Repton Viking Warrior's grave
Thor’s Hammer and bead necklace from the Repton Viking Warrior’s grave

He’s also had a facial reconstruction. You can find out more about this reconstruction and the Repton Viking’s by watching the BBC documentary ‘Blood Of The Vikings’ on YouTube. Granted, I now know more about swords and other stabbing weapons than is probably healthy for a man. Among the other items at Derby museum: a gold noble coin from Codnor Castle found when Time Team filmed there, The Repton Stone, flint arrowheads and tools dating back 300,000 – 40,00 years old, Egyptian mummies and the bronze age Hanson log boat. All to see for free.

Links:

Derby Museum

Great Heathen Army

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