Stone bust image
Clay minature warior


Before Ying Zheng took over the throne of the Kings of Qin in 246 BC, the kingdom had been expanding because

Facts and Figures Facts and Figures

In 230BC, when he was 29 years of age, Ying Zheng began to attack and conquer the other states around him. This is the period in Chinese history called The Period of Warring States. He conquered the

It was after all these successes that Ying Zheng adopted the name Qin Shi Huangdi. Below are two maps which show the territory he held. The first is a simple, hand drawn sketch map of China showing all the places mentioned on this website. The second is a detailed map of the Qin Empire from


The emperor continued to conquer new territory and eventually controlled land from the modern day Mongolian border in the north, to Tibet in the west, northern Vietnam in the south and the sea to the east - what is, today, modern China. He rewarded his top generals and gave them great favours, even allowing them to be buried in substantial tombs with wide lands around them. This tomb, one of the few remaining untouched from the period, is an example. Around this type of tomb material goods for the afterlife were buried.

Outside view of the tomb of Yong Li, Xian

This tomb is in Chengdu, and was the burial place of the general, Yong Li.

Inside view of the Tomb of Yong Li, Xian

One of the reasons this tomb is so important is that it has not been damaged or raided by tomb robbers and it clearly shows the barrel vaulting style of building, with the tomb in the middle (foreground)

Over the next two decades the emperor changed many things to strengthen the unity of his Empire. He

However, he also did things which upset people


Facts and Figures Facts and Figures

According to the official records of the time, in the ten years after uniting China the Emperor had

This made up almost 10% of the total population of his empire and caused much suffering because these men were taken away from their families and their work..


An artist's impression of Qin Shihuangdi's palace at Xianyang, from the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian

An artist's impression of Qin Shihuangdi's palace from the Shaanxi History Museum, Xian


When Shi Huangdi died in 210 BC some of his palace officials hid the fact and tried to take over by placing a younger son on the throne. They sent the Emperor's eldest son a note, supposedly from the Emperor, ordering him to kill himself and he did so. This left the throne open to the younger son. However, Shi Huangdi left a magnificent heritage - his burial mound and surrounding structures with its Terracotta Army and surviving remnants from his era.

When the rest of his empire found out about ShI Huangdi's death many people rebelled against the new emperor.

One of the local officials who gathered an army around him was an ex-policeman, Liu Bang, who made some very good alliances with other families and officials and emerged from the rebellions as the Prince of Han. He soon took over control of more and more territory and, by 202 BC had become so strong that he made himself emperor of China and began the Han Dynasty.