A A A
Profile image
  • Dr Xiuzhen Li
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate
  • xiuzhen.li@ucl.ac.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Xiuzhen Li

Xiuzhen has extensive experience in field archaeology, including the excavation and the survey of three pits within the Qin Terracotta Army site, as well as other sites in China and the UK. As curator from the Chinese party, she organised several Terracotta Warriors’ exhibitions, including the First Emperor Exhibition at the British Museum.

She currently works as a Senior Archaeologist in the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, leading archaeological excavations and international cooperative research projects.

She is also involved in the Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army project which is being carried out between the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum and UCL Institute of Archaeology. This project focuses on the large quantity of bronze weapons that equipped the Qin Terracotta Army, using multi-disciplinary methods in order to understand the standardisation and labour organisation employed in the workshop processes; the casting and finishing technologies employed by artisans; and the further transportation and arrangement of these weapons within the pits of the Terracotta Warriors which protect the Qin First Emperor in the after-life. The project was adopted by the British Academy in 2012 as an “Academy Research Project”, in recognition of “the excellence of its scholarship, and the promise and excitement of its programmes.”

Research Interests

  • Chinese archaeology, especially the Qin Terracotta Army
  • Archaeological science, material analysis
  • Multi-disciplinary methods, statistical and spatial methods
  • Standardisation and labour organisation employed during the manufacture of the Qin Terracotta Warriors
  • Using Scanning Electron Microscopy to study tool marks
  • Bronze weapons
  • Museum exhibitions
  • Li, X., Bevan, A., Martinón-Torres, M., Rehren, T., Cao, W. Yin, X., and K. Zhao in press. Crossbows and imperial craft organisation: the bronze triggers of China’s Terracotta Army, Antiquity.
  • Li, X. 2012. Standardisation, Labour Organisation and the Bronze Weapons of the Qin  Terracotta warriors. PhD Thesis. London: University College London.
  • Li, X. J., Martinón-Torres, M., Meeks and Xia, Y. 2012. Scanning electron microscopy imaging of tool marks on Qin bronze weaopns using silicone rubber impressions, in N. Meeks, C. Cartwright, A. Meek and A. Mongiatti (eds.), Historical Technology, Materials and Conservation: SEM and Microanalysis, 62-68. London: Archetype and The British Museum.
  • Martinón-Torres, M., Li, X., Bevan, A., Xia, Y.. Zhao, K. and T. Rehren forthcoming. Forty thousand arms for a single emperor: from chemical data to the labour organization behind the bronze arrows of the Terracotta Army, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (doi: 10.1007/s10816-012-9158-z)
  • Bevan, A., Crema, E., Li, X. and Palmisano, A. forthcoming. Intensities, interactions and uncertainties: some new approaches to archaeological distributions, in Bevan, A. and Lake, M. (eds.), Computational Approaches to Archaeological Spaces, Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press (manuscript).
  • Li, X. J., Martinón-Torres, M., Meeks, N. D., Yin, X. and Kun, Z. 2011. Inscriptions, filing, grinding and polishing marks on the bronze weapons from the Qin Terracotta Army in China. Journal of Archaeological Science 38, 492-501 [pdf]
  • Li, X., Martinón-Torres, M., Bevan, A., Rehren, Th., Xia, Y., and Zhao, K. 2011. Qinyongkeng chutu qingtong nuji shengchan de biaozhunhua ji laodongli zhuzhi (Standardisation and labour organisation in the Qin bronze triggers of the Terracotta Warriors). Qin Shihuangling Bowuyuan Yuankan, Volume 1, p251-263.
  • Martinón-Torres, M. Li, X., Bevan, A., Xia, Y., Kun, Z. and T. Rehren 2011. Making weapons for the Terracotta Army, Archaeology International 13-14: 65-67 (doi: 10.5334/ai.1316).
  • Li, X. and J., Gao (2010). Cong qingtong nuji mingwen kan Qin bingqi shengchan biaozhunhua de juxianxing (Standardisation and limitations in production of the Qin bronze triggers: the inscription evidence). Wenbo, volume. 2: 45-48.
  • Li, X. (2008). Jianlebihai weijingdao kaogu (Field archaeology in the British Virgin Islands), Caribbean. Wenbo, No. 5:83-85.
  • Li, X. (2008). Qin bingmayong erhaokeng mendao zhong chutu de yiji ji xiangguan xinxi (The carriage tracks and other traces discovered from the ramps of Pit 2). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 15. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2008). The promotion strategy of the First Emperor Exhibition at the British Museum. Chinese Cultural Relics Newsletter, 1st, November.
  • Li, X. (2007). Qinyong erhaokeng xibeijiao chutu de zhuanpi ji xiangguan wenti de tantao (A pile of unfired bricks discovered in the north-west corner of Pit 2 and related research questions). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 14. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2007). Cong Qinshihuang lingqu taoyao de fenbu kan lingqu taozhipin de shaozhi (An investigation into ceramic production for the First Emperor from the distribution of kilns in his tomb complex). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 14. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2006). Cong Qindai hangtu jianzhu kan zhongguo gudai hangtu banzhu jishu de fazhan (An investigation of the development of earthwork technologies in ancient China based on Qin rammed earth constructions). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 13. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2001). Qin qiwu shang de dongzhiwu wenshi yanjiu (Decorative patterns depicting animals and plants on Qin objects). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 9. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2000). Qinyongkeng fujin paomian quanxinshi qihou jilu ji chunqiu Qinhan lishi shiqi de qihong huanjing (An investigation into climate during Qin dynasty based on magnetism and molluscan records from loess deposits). Proceedings of the conference on Qin terracotta warriors. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (2000). Qin Han fushi liyi de fazhan bianhua (Research into the changing etiquette and social stratification in the Qin and Han dynasty from the costume styles). Proceedings of the conference on Qin Terracotta Warriors. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (1999). Qindai shibing de yishi rongfu ji xiangguan wenti tantao(Comparative research into the decorated costumes of the Qin terracotta warriors and minority dress throughout ancient central China). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 7. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (1999). Qinyongkeng qinghuini chengfen jiqi laiyuan de cheshi yanjiu (An investigation into the origin and composition of the grey soil from the pits of the Terracotta Warriors). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 7. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Guo, B. and X., Li. (1999). Cong yi shuiyin wei jianghe kan zhongguo gudai de zhigong jishu (An investigation into the technology of mercury extraction in ancient China inspired by the legend of a mercury river in the tomb of the First Emperor). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 7. Shaanxi Press, China.
  • Li, X. (1997). Qin yuguanyong shuo pei yuhuan yu woguo gudai de peishou zhidu (A jade pendant worn by a Qin bronze charioteer and further discussion of the jade ornaments in ancient China). Research on Qin Terracotta Warriors and Qin Culture, Volume 5. North West University Press, China.
  • Li, X. (1994). Qinyong fushi peibei wenti shitan (Research into the clothes supply of the Qin army from the decorated costumes of the Terracotta Warriors). Wenbo, Volume 6.

Bookmark and Share