XI’AN, CHINA—Characterizing the third-century B.C. collection as not a tomb but an artist’s personal scrap heap, a team of historians confirmed Tuesday that the famed Terra-Cotta Army was the result of a perfectionist sculptor fucking up a single soldier statue thousands of times in an attempt to get it right. “The more than 8,000 warrior sculptures contained within these excavated pits may appear extraordinary to us, but to the sculptor, every last one of them was a catastrophic failure that had to be disposed of so he could start again from scratch,” said art historian Li Xijian of Baoji University, who added that at the sight of the smallest imperfection in a carved figure’s face, clothing, or stance, the artist would throw a fit and cast it aside, demanding a fresh slab of clay to work with. “It appears he would become so enraged, he would pick up the life-size representations, toss them into one of the pits, and bury them deep beneath the soil, hoping they would never be seen again. We can only assume the artist would be horrified to know his garbage pile is now a UNESCO World Heritage site visited by more than a million tourists each year.” Li went on to observe that the clay soldiers missing heads and limbs were not the victims of natural disasters or vandalism over the past 2,200 years, but rather instances in which the artist grew so frustrated he physically attacked his own creations.