3d models and the faces of Qin?
Publication date: 13 June 2014
We're excited to have just had another paper come out (you can find it in the Journal of Archaeological Science here) that describes how we have been building 3d models of the terracotta warriors and using them not simply for nice documentation and presentation, but also to try to address some thorny analytical questions too. The 3d modelling technique itself is an extremely promising one (derived from the fascinating filed of 'computer vision') which is fast becoming popular in archaeology since it was first introduced a couple of years ago (our project can claim to be an early adopter, but the first archaeological application is probably this one). I'll come back to the technique itself below, but the background rationale for why we might find such models useful for the Imperial Logistics project is also interesting.
Do archaeologists always carry two toothbrushes?
Publication date: 27 May 2014
You can never prepare well enough for an encounter with
schoolchildren. They will always manage to catch you off-guard. A few
weeks ago I had great fun, and some moments of nerves, talking about
archaeology and archaeologists with some 350 children aged 7 to 11 at St.
Augustine’s Catholic Primary School.
Crossbow triggers and imperial craft organisation
Publication date: 6 March 2014
Our latest paper has just been published in the journal Antiquity and focuses on the crossbow triggers for the Qin Terracotta Army.
What’s so special… and spatial… about the Terracotta Army?
Publication date: 26 February 2014
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).
Archaeometallurgy at the BUMA conference in Japan
Publication date: 11 September 2013
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!
On a day like this 39 years ago… serendipity and the Terracotta Army
Publication date: 2 April 2013
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?
The terracotta warriors under the microscope
Publication date: 14 March 2013
The British Academy in Xi'an
Publication date: 14 February 2013
I have just returned from a spell of a few months in Xi’an, where I have been continuing the data acquisition while working on ongoing publications. A highlight of my time there was the visit by a distinguished delegation led by Professor Dame Helen Wallace, Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, to the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. That was an official visit to mark the adoption of our “Imperial Logistics” as a British Academy project.
Toyota and the Terracotta Army: mass production and mass media
Publication date: 11 January 2013
Long live adoption!
Publication date: 16 November 2012
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