Discovered in 1974, the terracotta statues at Xian represent the armed retinue of unified China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The emperor Qin defeated the other states in 221 BCE. He reigned for eleven years.

During this period, the empire was divided into 36 commanderies, each subdivided into counties. Each commandery was headed by a civil governor and a military commander.

Writing was standardized. Weights, measures, and currency were also standardized. Imperial highways were built totaling 4,000 miles as many as in the Roman Empire.

…from China: A New History by John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman, 1998