The Palace Museum Archaeological Heritage Project

Ziyan Xu

technical Artist, Department of Digital Technology, The Palace Museum

Wei Wu

Archaeology Institute, The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum

4 Jingshan Qianjie Beijing China

AVICOM/f@imp Gold Award 2020 for Digital Interactive



Combining Digital Technology and Archaeology



The Palace Museum is a treasury of traditional Chinese culture. This ancient palace not only consists of ancient buildings above ground but also includes a wealth of cultural relics buried underground. Together, these elements from the Forbidden City are all objects of our protection.

The archaeologists continuously devise strategies to realistically preserve historical information and develop appropriate restorations. Once by chance in 2014, a ruin was found at the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining gong), including palace foundations from 600 years ago in the Ming dynasty. This time, current digital methods have raised recording standards to a new level.


Digitization technology is able to obtain samples accurately and comprehensively so on-site information can be captured to the greatest extent possible, even if some details are not noticed at the time of recording. With laser scanning and multiview 3D reconstruction, the I.T Department and the Archaeology Institute of the Palace Museum captured and recorded these archaeological finds in a digital form. According to the concept of XR, they apply AR, VR, and other technologies for heritage protection, research, and museum exhibition. Through the digital devices, people can “arrive” at the archaeological site any time and carry out virtual surveys at close range.




The Palace Museum Archaeological XR Project is one of many endeavors by the Digital Palace Museum. We will continue to bring more intuitive, convenient, and comprehensive digital cultural experiences for fans all over the world.




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