Attaining Accuracy and Precision of Measuring Containers during the Qin Dynasty

Kin Sum LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores how Qin Dynasty bureaucrats attained accuracy and precision in producing and designing measuring containers. One of the salient achievements of the Qin empire was the so-called unification of measurement systems. Yet measurement systems and the technological methods employed to achieve accuracy and precision in ancient China have scarcely been explored in English-language scholarship. I will examine the material features of the containers and reconstruct the production methods with which the clay models, molds, and cores of the containers were prepared before casting. I also investigate the inscriptions on the containers to determine whether they were cast or engraved. In so doing, I supply the field of Qin history with additional solid evidence about how accuracy and precision were defined in the Qin empire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Chinese History
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date23 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History
  • Cultural Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Qin Dynasty
  • Measuring containers
  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Core

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