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?
Published: Apr 2, 2013 11:47:00 AM
'Imperial Logistics' has two main research aims:
- investigating the crafting methods and logistical organisation behind the construction of the Terracotta Army and the broader mausoleum of the First Emperor of China; and
- developing novel hypotheses and methods, via artefact-scale metric analysis, materials science and spatial modelling, that may be used as a comparative platform for studying craft specialisation, logistical organisation, cross-craft interactions and strategies of enforced social cohesion in emerging imperial systems.
Given the project’s wider context as an international collaboration centred on a World Heritage site, two important further aims are an improved transfer of specialist knowledge among Western and Chinese scholars, and active engagement and dissemination beyond academic circles.
Imperial Logistics: The Making of
the Terracotta Army
UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK
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