The Virtual Museum of the Western Han Dynasty: 3D Documentation and Interpretation

Maurizio Forte, Nicolo Dell'Unto, Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, Fabrizio Galeazzi, Claudia Liuzza, Sofia Pescarin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


This project, aimed to the digital documentation of archaeological sites, artifacts and cultural relics of the Western Han Dynasty, started in
2008. The anticipated outcome will be the creation of a virtual museum, based on collaborative environments, dedicated to the Western Han
Dynasty and able to integrate new archaeological datasets coming from fieldwork activities (most part of them unpublished), monuments, and
famous collections of artifacts of the Xi’an archaeological museums. All the archaeological datasets will be virtually reconstructed in a very
accurate way, keeping all the spatial information even in the cyber space: GIS, remote sensing and laser scanning data, DGPS surveys, 3D
reconstructions (landscapes, sites, monuments, artifacts). The Virtual Museum of the Western Han Dynasty will be the first archaeological
example of international collaboration between Chinese institutions and Western countries based on virtual heritage methodologies and real
time outputs.
The archaeological fieldwork, mainly encompassing 3D documentation of new tombs in the center and in the surroundings of Xi’an, is
managed integrating different technologies and methods: laser scanning, digital photogrammetry, photomodeling, remote sensing, and GIS.
The final plan is to create at least two installations, one in Xi’an and one in California. At UCM, the Virtual Heritage Lab is working on the
set up of two different virtual reality systems based on participatory learning: a stereo collaborative environment (virtual heritage room) and a
simulation environment (Powerwall). The primary purpose is to visualize and display very high-resolution data from large scientific
simulations performed via high-resolution imaging applications. This paper will give an overview on the principal technologies and methods
used in the field for the documentation of monumental wall paintings’ tombs, archaeological sites, landscapes and museum artifacts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace, time, place / BAR International series
EditorsStefano Campana, Maurizio Forte, Claudia Liuzza
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781407306599
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSpace, Time, Place, Third International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology - Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Duration: 2009 Aug 172009 Aug 21

Publication series



ConferenceSpace, Time, Place, Third International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology
CityTiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Archaeology


  • Xi’an
  • Western Han
  • Archaeology
  • Virtual Museum
  • 3D datasets.


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