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
Andrew Bevan is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. His primary research interests include spatial analysis, computational modelling, craft specialisation, fieldwork techniques, early complex societies, theoretical approaches to value, landscape ecology and comparative anthropological methods. He has contributed to a wide variety of different projects worldwide, but with a geographic focus on Old World mid-latitudes and including previous research on Neolithic China, Chinese stone vessels and protohistoric urbansim in peninsular Thailand. He has been involved with UCL and the Terracotta Army Museum’s collaborative work on the bronze weapons from the tomb complex of the First Emperor since 2007, with a particular interest in how formal spatial modelling approaches can shed light on the crafting structures and logistical priorities behind the creation of this funerary monument, as well as on the wider workings of an early empire. He is Deputy Director of the Imperial Logistics Project.
Wei Cao is the Director of the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s
Mausoleum Site Museum. He was a senior researcher and deputy director at the
Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology before joining the Museum. In
addition to his role as Director, he is an honorary researcher at the Centre of
Ancient Civilisations of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and at Peking
University, and a councilor of the Chinese Society of Ying-Shang Civilisation.
He also supervises master and PhD students both in Northwest University and
Shaanxi Normal University in Xian, China. Professor Cao has extensive experience in field excavation and Chinese
archaeology. His main reserch interests focus on Chinese Bronze Age - the Shang
and Zhou Dynasties and ancient Chinese bronze objects. He has been in charge of
a variety of projects, including the Foundation of the Tang Famen Temple, a
Sino-Italy cooperative field project at Doujitai, Baoji, a Western Zhou
archaeological site at Zhouyuan, and a Xigong site at Hong Kong. Some other
research projects under his leadership include the Xia Shang Zhou Chronology
Project, Oracle Bone Inscripitons found in Zhouyuan, Research on Life, Culture and Enviorment of pre- Qin and
Han dynasties at Hetao Area, and Historical and Environmental Changes at the
Reaches of the Feng River. All of these
projects are reflected in his extensive publication record. Professor Cao was
awarded the title of Shaanxi Provincial Expert with Outstanding Contributions,
and some of his publications have received provincial and national awards.
Xiuzhen Janice Li
Xiuzhen Janice Li is a Senior Archaeologist at the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, China. She has substantial experience in field archaeology, including the excavation of the Qin Terracotta Army, as well as further sites both in China and in the UK. Her research interests mainly focus on the application of multi-disciplinary methods to archaeological problems. Having obtained an Archaeology degree from Peking University in China, Dr. Li received an MA in Field Archaeology and a PhD in Archaeological Science from University College London. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher of the Imperial Logistics Project. Her PhD focused on the typological, metrical and spatial analyses of the bronze weapons that equipped the Qin Terracotta Army, with a view to understand standardisation and labour organisation.
Marcos Martinón-Torres is Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Science and Material Culture at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. With degrees in history, archaeology and science, he is particularly interested in the combination of scientific analyses of archaeological materials, historical research and modern experiments to reconstruct ancient technologies. In addition to his work with the Terracotta Army project, some of his most prominent research has concentrated on European alchemical laboratories, and on the production and trade of metals in the pre- and post-Columbian Americas. His research students have worked in Europe, Africa, America, China and Southeast Asia, mostly on metallurgy but also on ceramic technology. He is the UCL scientist in charge for the EU-funded Narnia international training network and a keen contributor to media and public engagement activities. Marcos is the Director of the Imperial Logistics Project.
Thilo Rehren is Director of UCL Qatar,
the first British university in Education City. Before moving to Doha in 2011,
he worked for twelve years as Professor for Archaeological Materials and
Technologies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology in London, where he
established a large research group of postgraduate students and staff studying
archaeological materials, particularly glass, metals and ceramics. He also
serves as Executive Director of ICCHA, the International Centre for Chinese
Heritage and Archaeology, a joint setup between the School of Archaeology and
Museology of Peking University in Beijing and the UCL Institute of Archaeology,
and has published on a range of Chinese materials, from proto-porcelain and
Tang sancai production to copper alloys, silver smelting and gold threads. Thilo
has a PhD in Earth Sciences and a higher doctorate in Materials Science from
universities in Germany, his native country. From 1990 to 1999 he worked at the
German Mining Museum as research scientist at the Institut für
Archäometallurgie, specialising in crucibles and the processes that require
their use. He is particularly interested in combining scientific approaches
with the study of past high-temperature technologies, and highlighting the many
different ways in which people were improving their lives
through observation and ingenuity. Thilo is the Chairman of the Imperial
Logistics Project Committee.
Patrick Quinn is an archaeological material scientist using ceramic compositional analysis to interpret aspects of ancient material culture. He works in the prehistoric Mediterranean, pre-contact California, as well on British ceramics of various periods. His main research tools are thin section ceramic petrography and instrumental geochemistry. He provides specialist research training in petrography and operates a consultancy service. He has a diverse research background and publication history that includes, geology, marine ecology and interdisciplinary archaeology.
Yin Xia is the deputy director, a conservation scientist and an associate professor in the Conservation Department at the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. He has a BA in Chemistry and an MSc in Conservation from the North-West University, China. He has been involved in many restoration and conservation projects since 1997. One of the important projects he has contributed to is the cooperative research between China and Germany on the conservation of the polychromy on the terracotta warriors. He also worked in the in situ conservation of other sites within the tomb complex, including the pit of stone armours and the pit of terracotta acrobats. During the last decade, his interests have mainly focused on the origin and development of ancient pigments, especially Chinese Blue and Chinese Purple. He has analysed samples of polychromy and pigments from over one thousand archaeological sites and museum collections.
Kun Zhao is the Director of the Conservation Department at Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. He is in charge of storage, conservation, exhibition and digital archiving. He has a BA in History from Jilin University, and a Masters in Heritage Conservation from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. His research interests include the management of archaeological sites and artefacts, as well as digital archiving and 3-D modelling. He has several publications related to such issues, such as Future potential of 3-D modelling in archaeological sites, General discussion about the packing of antiques, and Preliminary discussion about digital museums. He has led a national research project on Packing and transportation of cultural relics.
Imperial Logistics: The Making of
the Terracotta Army
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