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Imperial Logistics: the Making of the Terracotta Army

A collaboration between the UCL Institute of Archaeology and the Museum of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum in Xi'an, Central China, investigating the making of the vast Terracotta Army which guarded the mausoleum of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang (259–210 BC)

Project Director: Professor Marcos Martinon-Torres

Imperial Logistics: the Making of the Terracotta Army has two main research aims:
a) 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
b) 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 further important aims are an improved transfer of specialist knowledge among western and Chinese scholars, and active engagement and dissemination beyond academic circles.

Professor Marcos Martinon-Torres: terracotta-army@ucl.ac.uk

Project part of

Academy Research Projects

The Academy Research Projects are major long-term infrastructural projects or research facilities, intended to produce works of scholarship.