Preservation and Technology
A guest post by Brian Yin
Throughout China, with the massive increase in tourist traffic both international and domestic, there are artifacts and sacred sites that are being damaged, often irreparably so by the sheer numbers of visitors. There is always a balancing act between access and preservation: If access is too limited, sites lose their draw card, but if it is too open, then there will be a finite lifespan to them. The Terracotta Warriors in X’ian are an example of how this problem was approached decades ago – when China was just opening up. When the excavated warriors were exposed to the environment, the paint rapidly deteriorated, leaving the clay soldiers “plain earth” as we see them today. The response was to re-bury the majority of the army, to preserve it for future generations.