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Cambridge scientists make 3D print of ancient bone with Chinese writing – Fox News

by • March 23, 2016 • No Comments

Scientists have turned to 3D innovation typically utilized in hospitals to scan and print the earliest example of Chinese writing, 3,000-year-old object written on bones of an ox.
Dating back to 1339-1112 BC, the object is one of hundreds of what are called oracle bones held by the Cambridge University Library. They are written on ox shoulder blades and the flat under-part of turtles and contribute a record of inquiries posed to the divination at the court of the royal house of Shang, which ruled north central China at the time.
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The inscriptions on the bone – believed to be the initially 3D print of an oracle bone – provides scientists a rare glimpse into early Chinese society, such as warfare, agriculture, hunting, medical problems, meteorology and astronomy. Included in the writings is a record of a lunar eclipse dated to 1192 BC, one of the earliest such accounts in any civilization.
“The oracle bones are three-dimensional objects, and high-resolution 3D imagery reveals showcases which not just all previous methods of reproduction (such as drawings, rubbings and photographs) have been unable to do, but which are not actually apparent of careful examination of the actual items themselves,” Charles Aylmer, head of the Chinese Department at Cambridge University Library, said in a statement.
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“To hold a 3D print of an oracle bone is a quite special experience, as it provides the same sensory impression as which received by the folks who turn it intod them over three thousand years ago, but without the risk of injure to the priceless originals,” he introduced.
The high-resolution image of the bone, which measures of 9×14 cm, shows the incised inquiries on the obverse of the bone as well as the divination pits engraved on the reverse and the scorch marks cautilized by the application of heat to turn it into the cracks – interpreted as the answers of the spirit world.
In collaboration with the Media Studio of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the print was created with a printing device normally utilized to help in the planning of maxillofacial and orthopedic surgery.


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