According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot so secretive that anyone who made the mistake of encountering his funeral procession was executed on the spot. Once he was below ground, his men brought in horses to trample evidence of his grave, and just to be absolutely sure he would never be found, they diverted a river to flow over their leader's final resting place.What Khan and his followers couldn't have envisioned was that nearly 800 years after his death, scientists at UC San Diego's Center for Interdisciplinary Science in Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) would be able to locatehis tomb using advanced visualization technologies whose origins can be traced back to the time of the Mongolian emperor himself."As outrageous as it might sound, we're looking for the tomb of Genghis Khan," says Dr.
Albert Yu-Min Lin, an affiliated researcher for CISA3. "Genghis Khan was one of the most exceptional men in all of history, but his life is too often dismissed as being that of a bloodthirsty warrior.
in the West know about his legacy — that he united warring tribes of
Mongolia and merged them into one, that he introduced the East to the
West making explorations like those of Marco Polo possible, that he
tried to create a central world currency, that he introduced a written
language to the Mongol people and created bridges that we still use
today within the realm of international relations.
The significance of the date of the Beijing Olympic premiere on 8/8/08 cannot be overestimated. The mythology of these numbers symbolizes not only future prosperity but also a confidence that is self-fulfilling to a nation of people who have sacrificed for centuries for the concept of self-worth and national pride.Whatever happens at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it is safe to say that the date is a turning pointin this 5,000-plus-year-old culture.
Despite all of the challenges, predictions of environmental failure and potential political unrest, the future is positive.The young people of China are the beginning of a dynasty of their own, with confidence that they will help to change the world on their terms. Fueled by the Internet and a firsthand exposure to the West, they realize that the world of creative ideas is a playground that they are very familiar with. Like sports, they can and will play with the best: They are honing their skills on the field of international competition.
exhibition at the Victoria &Albert Museum in London, called
"Contemporary Design of China," has fired the first shot across our
cultural bow that there is more than meets the eye. Design will become
a new competency within the new creative culture of China, and its
ability to mix the richness of the past and a voracious appetite for
the future will give birth to a new contemporary language of style.
The Beijing Olympics is the culmination of a long struggle of a nation yearning to be young again.
The virtually unknown Chinese pyramids are historic monuments that now struggle against the ravages of time and the elements. The elaborate walls of one grand structure were accidentally discovered by U.S. pilot James Gaussman towards the end of the Second World War.† His engine failed when returning from a mission to aid the Chinese army en route to his base in Assam, India. Flying over Xi"an at a low altitude, Gaussman was astonished at the site of an enormous pyramid in the distance. The pilot did not waste this precious opportunity, and flew over, taking the photographs that would later accompany a report presented to U.S governmental authorities. In 1947, another U.S. pilot,keen to the legend of Gaussman"s mysterious "Great White" Chinese pyramid, flew close enough to the structure to catch a glimpse for himself.
He estimated the ancient wonder to stand nearly 1500 ft high in comparison to Egypt"s great pyramid of Giza which stands a mere 480 ft. from base to vertex. Yet this miraculous pyramid remained a closely guarded secret, kept hidden from the prying eyes of international investigation by Chinese authorities. In spite of such restrictions, German investigator Hartwig Hausdorf attempted to film and photograph the massive ancient structure. While Hausdorf managed to avoid the Chinese military that carefully patrolled the airspace above the Xi"an desert, he was never able to find the grand pyramid Gaussman photographed. Still, Hausdorf"s 1994 book, The WhitePyramid, detailing his findings of the other structures found in the area, and ushered in a great interest for these ancient treasures. Uncovering the secret: In 2000, China recognized that there were some 400 pyramids in the Shanxi region, to the north of Xi"an. Smaller than the legendary "Great White" pyramid, these ancient remains have been classified by some as burial mounds.† While some of these structures do in fact serve as tombs, others suggest the earliest Chinese pyramids served a more mysterious purpose.
China's terracotta army, a collection of 7,000 soldier and horse figures in the mausoleum of the country's first emperor, was entirely covered with beaten egg when it was constructed, according to German and Italian chemists who have analyzed samples from several of the figurines. According to the research team, the egg served as a binder for colorful paints, which went over a layer of lacquer. Co-author Catharina Blaensdorf, a scientist at the Technical University of Munich in Germay, explained to Discovery News that "egg paint is normally very stable, and not soluble in water...This makes [it] less sensitive to humidity and moisture."Egg proteins would have also ensured the adhesion of the paint to the lacquer, while also giving the paint thickness and texture, added Blaensdorf's colleague Ilaria Bonaduce, of the University of Pisa in Italy.
For the study, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, the researchers took samples from warrior figurine faces, kneeling archers, swans and paint fragments found on the ground inside the 210 B.C. mausoleum. They chemically separated the flakes to isolate the ingredients, and then inserted them into a machine that determined their composition. The researchers thought animal glue might have served as a binder, but all of the data pointed to egg instead. The pigments, they found, were bone white, leadwhite, cerussite (which sparkles), quartz, cinnabar, malachite, charcoal black, copper salts, Chinese purple and azurite. Bright hues were important "because color was precious and a colorful army was the best, and an emperor could demand the best," said Blaensdorf. The sturdy terracotta and thick, eggy paint add to the conclusion that the army was also built to last. The mausoleum was even booby-trapped, "Home Alone"-style, with rigged crossbows to stop would-be thieves. Eighty master potters left their signatures on the terracotta figures. These names show some individuals came from the imperial court, while other artists appear to have been respected local craftsmen. Some official names overlap with those found on sewage pipesand. ...