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3d models and the faces of Qin?

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. More...

Published: Jun 13, 2014 9:54:00 AM

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Aims

'Imperial Logistics' has two main research aims:
  1. 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
  2. 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.

bronze-lance.jpg
One of the exceptionally well-preserved bronze lances recovered with the Terracotta Army

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