The terracotta warriors under the microscope
14 March 2013
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.
Met with Museum staff and discussed at length a strategy for the ceramics phase
of the project. Lots of exciting research questions that tie in with our
previous work on the bronze weapons. Hoping to also build upon the important
Chinese research that has been carried out on the clay sources, but to delve
more into the technology used to manufacture the statues.
The plan is to train Zhang Shangxin and Shao Wenbin from the Museum in ceramic analysis here at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. We can then put in
place the facilities that we need to analyse material on site. Looking forward
to welcoming them both on my intensive training course in April 2013... and
returning a bit of British hospitality!
My trip was funded by a UCL Small Research Grant in the Arts and Humanities. This will also allow me to head out in summer 2013 to start working with Zhang and Shao on the ceramics. Looking forward to that.
Patrick Quinn is a Senior Research Fellow in Ceramic Petrography at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.