For my online summer school class in early World History, I created a virtual tour of the famous Bronze Age citadel in Greece at Mycenae. There are 360 panoramas of famous vistas from the site, including inside the monumental tholos tomb “The Treasury of Atreus,” as well as a 360 video walk-in to the site through the famous “Lion Gate.” Using the thumbnail map of the site, the user can bring up informational panels and panoramas of its various features. It also includes slideshows of objects from the wealthy tombs in Grave Circle A and Grave Circle B. Thanks to Professor John Lee of UCSB for taking me on a tour of the site this year!
(Chinese Version Coming Soon, Too!)
For fourteen years now, my popular computer reconstruction of the Wuzhaishan cemetery (Wu Family Shrines) of the second century CE in northeast China has been used in Chinese art history classrooms around the world for the teaching of Han art, archaeology, and narrative illustration. It was originally created between 2002 and 2005 for the exhibition “Recarving China’s Past” which was on display at the Princeton University Art Museum and was accompanied by a catalog of the same title. I created the “Wu Family Shrines 1.0” with 3D modeling software and authored the virtual tour in QuickTime VR. Apple eventually dropped support for this technology and it has become harder and harder to run the reconstruction on modern computers. Back when I wrote it, smartphones didn’t even exist.
So, now I have taken the time to “remaster” the entire virtual tour for modern technology. I went back and found nearly all the original computer assets, and authored them in 3D Vista Pro. The tour should now stream from within most major browsers, on Macs and PCs, as well as on tablets and smartphones, though it will always look best on a computer, and some bugs remain on mobile devices. It will also run on virtual reality gear, including Oculus Touch, Oculus Go, Vive, Vive Pro, and Google Cardboard, though not all features are available in virtual reality.
Also, given the increases in broadband streaming capability, I was able to vastly expand the materials included in the virtual tour. The tour now begins with a narrated movie introducing the site. Also included now are all the detailed rubbings from Shrines 1 and 2, as well as an audio commentary that reads out the information panels (this can be muted). My graduate student Li Xiang is also at work making a Chinese version of this new “Wu Liang Shrine 2.0” for even greater accessibility. Enjoy!
Here is the link to the tour page. CLICK HERE.
It was just announced that I was awarded the ACLS Yvette and William Kirby Centennial Fellowship in Chinese Studies for the 2019-2020 academic year. This will allow me to complete my book manuscript, The Black Land and the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient Egypt and Early China. For more on the project, click here.
Now that I have begun to teach online courses in the summer, I have been experimenting with filming my classes using a 360 VR camera. Click on the link below to see the final summary lecture of my world history class. You can pan and zoom to see the class, but if you have VR goggles or Google cardboard, you can sit in the front row and get the real feeling of being there!
For my online History 80 (Chinese Civilization) Course, I have created an interactive version of the famous map found in the Wubeizhi (preface, 1621), but which was based on the knowledge brought back by Zheng He on his 7 voyages throughout the Indian Ocean for the Ming Emperors (1405-1433). It records the place names and sailing directions for traveling from the Ming capital in Nanjing to the East Coast of Africa, including South China, Southeast Asia, India, and the Persian Gulf.
You can scroll the map by dragging, or click an area to zoom in. There is an overview at the top which highlights the area you are viewing. I have hyperlinked over 100 place names so far. Hover the mouse of the red box to see a translation of the location, or click to bring up a window with Google Maps, showing the modern place. There is also a drop-down menu at the lower right, and manual controls at the bottom. (Also works on mobile phones and iPads, no Flash required).
Currently, I have only added hyperlinks for China (from Nanjing to Fuzhou), the Middle East and East Africa. I hope to add links for Southeast Asia and India later this summer.
Click HERE:to try it.
For video instructions, click HERE.
I recently created a 3D video-game walkthrough of the Neolithic Banpo site near Xi’an China. This allows my students to explore the 6,000 year old village and interpret some of its features, such as the deep moat, the ceramic jar burials of children, and the square and circular house foundations sunk partially into the ground. Try it out! Click below.
As part of my research in Egyptology, I have used my computer reconstruction skills to make an interactive tomb model of Theban tomb no. 1, the tomb of Sennedjem, one of the first unplundered tombs ever discovered in Egypt, back in 1885. This “first-person” game allows one to explore the Nile, deserted villages, and a beautifully decorated tomb in the hills.
Click here to go to a description of the reconstruction, with image gallery, a video walkthrough of the game, and a link to a playable (but incomplete) version of the game.
Anthony Barbieri-(Low)’s co-authored 2 volume work, Law, State and Society in Early Imperial China (Brill 2015), has been accorded Honorable Mention status in this year’s Patrick D. Hanan Prize for translation from the Association for Asian Studies. The prize is awarded biennially to an outstanding English translation of a significant work in any genre, from any work from any era that was originally written in Chinese or an Inner Asian Language. See the prize list here.
I just uploaded a new mobile-capable lecture, called “The Design, Function, and Meaning of Bronze Ritual Vessels of the Shang Dynasty in China.” This was a public lecture at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in November of 2016. It is a wide-ranging lecture on ancient Chinese bronzes and includes movie clips and interactive 3D models.
In June, I was awarded a one-year fellowship from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange to write my next book called The Many Lives of the First Emperor of China. The book, currently under contract from University of Washington Press, will be a cultural history of the First Emperor of Qin, including modern literature, film, and video games, among its diverse sources.