Interactive analysis tools for a web atlas of scanned sutra texts in China. The aim of the joint project is the art historical, archaeological and textual documentation, analysis and interpretation of these Buddhist stone writings. An important basis for the geometric documentation of the inscriptions is high-resolution and non-contact 3D scanning. However, other visually and geometrically documenting methods also make important contributions to the recording of cultural and historical sites.
The Buddhist stone writings (8th -12th century AD) of the province of Sichuan in southwest China represent one of the most important cultural assets in China, which must be documented, analyzed, interpreted and visualized archaeologically, art historically and textually. On the one hand, these Buddhist stone writings should be preserved for future generations.
On the other hand, further prerequisites for the analysis of the data are to be created by making them accessible to a broad public, for example to research the historical development of Buddhism in China and its adaptation to Chinese culture.
The cultural development of East Asian countries, particularly China, has greatly influenced Buddhism, so knowledge of its spread across time and space is an important factor in historical study. The tradition of the Buddhist teachings was originally oral and was only much later recorded and disseminated in writing. This written tradition of Buddhist teachings is called a sutra. The sutra usually deals with a specific topic such as the perfection of wisdom, which represents a central theme of the Diamond and Heart Sutra.
The joint project was completed in December 2012. An art historical, archaeological and textual documentation, analysis and interpretation of the Buddhist stone writings was realized. An important basis for the geometric documentation of the inscriptions is high-resolution and non-contact 3D scanning. However, other visually and geometrically documenting methods also made important contributions to the recording of the cultural-historical sites.
High-precision 3D measurement techniques show great potential for archaeological and art historical questions. It is obvious that the objects must be accessible with the appropriate equipment in order to realize a successful and precise acquisition of the 3D data.
With the visualization of the sutra texts on the Internet, sinologists are able to gain a deep insight into the characters and thus advance the interpretation from all over the world.