How the Differing Tombs Were Designed to Protect the Deceased
The Natufian Grave in Israel, which dates from c. 12,000 BCE, contained the remains of a man buried with his dog.
The Egyptians also placed focus on deities such as the god of the dead.
While this does not imply that ancient cavemen had a belief in the afterlife, it does show that the practice of burying a person with their possessions has been around for quite some time and is a plausible explanation for the sheer size and scope of the Tomb of Shi Huangdi.
Scarabs inscribed with the name and title of the owner were often used as a seal by pressing the underside into a lump of clay that would then bear an impression of the incised decoration. Egyptian amulets could be exported, but also locally made amulets in Egyptian style were produced throughout the Mediterranean region. Whether the Egyptian meaning and function of these amulets were shared outside of Egypt can be debated, but clearly they were seen as potent magical objects in other cultures as well.
Liu, C. Y., Pagán, V., & Liu, N. S. (2011). The Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shi Huang. World Neurosurgery, 75(3/4), 352-353. Web.
Nickel, L. (2013). The First Emperor and sculpture in China. Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental & African Studies, 76(3), 413-447. Web.
Terracotta heroes. (2006). Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland, (2731), 14. Web.
Wilson, J. (2007). Mortal combat. New Statesman, 136(4861), 38-41. Web.