Institute of Archaeology

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Terracotta Army research in BBC's top archaeology stories of 2012

9 January 2013

View of Pit 1 of the Terracotta Warriors (Photo: Xia Juxian)

Collaborative research on the Terracotta Army undertaken by Institute staff and Chinese colleagues features as one of the top archaeology stories of 2012.

The BBC's 'Digging into 2012's archaeology' highlights the research by Institute staff and international colleagues which revealed that the craftsmen responsible for arming the 7000 warriors, chariots and horses followed a sophisticated labour model now associated with Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker. Rather than being a novel innovation, ‘Toyotism’ may have been developed by craftsmen working on China’s Terracotta Army more than 2000 years before the Japanese carmaker was founded.

Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army is a collaboration between the UCL Institute of Archaeology and the Museum of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum in Xi'an, central China, that is investigating the crafting methods and logistical organisation behind the making of the vast Terracotta Army which guarded the mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC).

This research initiative, which has been adopted as a British Academy Research Project for the next 5 years, has now launched a new website and blog to disseminate research news and outputs.

Any enquiries about this collaborative research may be directed to Marcos Martinón-Torres. Read more about this research in the media here»