In the provinces of Shanxi and Henan is the cradle of Chinese civilization. Here, in the fertile valleys of the loess-covered landscape, the ancestors of the Chinese settled in the 3rd century BC.The fertile loess soil attracted the first human settlements, while irrigation difficulties forced people to work in close cooperation. As a result, the first and strongest states developed in this region. In Xi'an (pronounced She-arm) see the more than 6,000 life-size terra-cotta warriors and horses recently excavated from the tomb of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. First discovered in 1974, each terra-cotta soldier and horse has its own unique body and facial features, and more are being uncovered every year.