Tseng Research

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Inventing the Bureaucratic State in Ancient China

Richard S. Horowitz
Professor of History
California State University, Northridge

Piece Mold, Lost Wax & Composite Casting Techniques of the Chinese Bronze Age

Behzad Bavarian
Professor of Manufacturing Systems Engineering & Management
California State University, Northridge

Full Report (PDF, 4MB)


Metallurgical Analysis of Tseng Collection

Behzad Bavarian
Professor of Manufacturing Systems Engineering & Management
California State University, Northridge

Professor Bavarian's project has analyzed the Tseng Collection artifacts using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Analysis with X-rays (EDAX) to determine the material chemical composition, date, place of origin, and probable use. Many of the artifacts, including weaponry, ornate bronze ritual vessels, jade and elaborate engravings demonstrate thin-walled casting, unique surface decoration and composite bronze techniques. Investigation of these ancient Chinese metallurgical capabilities add to our knowledge and understanding of Chinese history, the role of technology and its contributions to the Bronze Age and overall Chinese cultural wealth - a view that has fundamentally changed with remarkable recent discoveries of ancient Chinese ingenuity.

Full report (PDF, 4 MB)

Live Remote Web Access to Tseng Collection

Jeffrey Wiegley
Professor of Computer Science
California State University, Northridge

Professor Wiegley's project will use robotic visual systems in conjunction with Internet technologies and HTML publishing tools to permit live, remote, online access to the Tseng Chinese Antiquities Exhibition in the Oviatt Library. The remotely operated autonomous camera system will allow online visitors to view an exhibition piece from different angles. The camera will also allow the viewer to zoom in and out in order to capture the desired level of visual detail. Features are designed into the system that will maintain the security and environmental integrity of the exhibition pieces.

The successful completion of this project will provide a means for distributing the educational and cultural value of the Tseng Chinese antiquities beyond the physical boundaries of the Oviatt Library and provide a permanent, digital visual archive of the images and web content that is acquired.

Cultural Context of Tseng Collection

Wei-min Sun
Professor of Philosophy
California State University, Northridge

Professor Sun's project is studying cultural aspects of the Tseng Chinese Antiquities Collection. The rich content and the unique value of the Tseng Family Collection, especially the invaluable pieces believed to be from the ancient Ba culture, provide an exceptional opportunity to increase our knowledge of ancient Chinese culture, and help us better understand the details of its early development. Also, Sun will use this opportunity to investigate the so-called "Needham's Puzzle" in which the ancient Chinese developed wonderful technologies, clearly shown by the Tseng Family Collection pieces, but from which no mature science grew.