Archaeologists use computers to piece vandalized Buddhist cave temple back together

The Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan were damaged over the centuries by souvenir-seekers, but researchers at the University of Chicago and Peking University have managed to reconstruct the cave's fractured sculptures digitally. Watch them do so in this video.

Here's a short history of the temple caves. The "Echoes of the Past" exhibit runs until July 31 at The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art:

Carved into the mountains of northern China, the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan (響堂山, pronounced "shahng-tahng-shahn") were the crowning cultural achievement of the Northern Qi dynasty (550–77 CE). Once home to a magnificent array of sculptures-monumental Buddhas, divine attendant figures, and crouching monsters framed by floral motifs-the limestone caves were severely damaged in the first half of the twentieth century, when their contents were chiseled away and offered for sale on the international art market


[Via Bioephemera]

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