Attaining Accuracy and Precision of Measuring Containers during the Qin Dynasty

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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
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History

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