Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army Blog

News and views from the team leading the project “Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army”

Blog posts

PCA showing groupings based on measurements of different trigger parts

Crossbow triggers and imperial craft organisation

Our latest paper has just been published in the journal Antiquity and focuses on the crossbow triggers for the Qin Terracotta Army. More...

Published: Mar 6, 2014 8:52:22 PM

What’s so special… and spatial… about the Terracotta Army?

We’ve been getting some nice publicity recently due to a Channel 4 documentary that has featured our collaborative work on the terracotta warriors and their weapons. We’ve also got some papers out or on the way, that discuss in a bit more detail our project methods and results. In fact, a lot of what we have had to say has had a strong ‘spatial’ component. By this I mean, that we are rarely interested only in Qin warriors and weapons as if they had been unearthed at random (i.e. as if they were just one enormous bag of finds from an unknown find-spot), but instead, thanks to the excellent recording methods of the excavators at locations such as the vast “Pit 1”, we can explore what additional information the spatial distribution of warriors or their weapons can offer. Janice Li first began looking at the warriors and weapons in this way on behalf of our project, and we have been following that lead ever since (in Pit 1 especially). More...

Published: Feb 26, 2014 10:27:18 PM

Bronze trigger, and details of the surface filing and inscription as seen on silicone rubber impressions observed under the SEM

Archaeometallurgy at the BUMA conference in Japan

Janice and I will spend this week at the beautiful town of Nara (Japan) attending the 8th International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys (BUMA 8). Notwithstanding the somewhat dull title, this is a very exciting archaeometallurgical conference with a strong emphasis on the Asian world. Clearly the place to be! More...

Published: Sep 11, 2013 2:50:58 PM

Close up of warrior head small

On a day like this 39 years ago… serendipity and the Terracotta Army

On 29 March 1974, a group of farmers digging a water well in Lintong, to the east of Xi’an, struck upon one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. The Terracotta Army would become the icon of the 2,200 year-old city-like mausoleum of China’s First Emperor. A further four decades since its discovery, have we learned anything about serendipity?
More...

Published: Apr 2, 2013 11:47:00 AM

Patrick in Pit 1

The terracotta warriors under the microscope

I arrived back from my first trip to Xi'an to initiate the ceramics phase of the project. Was great to see the Terracotta Army, to see the Mausoleum, and to experience China. Inspirational!
More...

Published: Mar 14, 2013 1:41:24 PM


Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army
UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK
+44 (0) 20 7679 7496 · terracotta-army@ucl.ac.uk