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A spatial interaction model of Qin-Han Dynasty organisation on the northern frontier and the location of the Zhidao highway (China)

Li, Zehao; Bevan, Andrew; (2024) A spatial interaction model of Qin-Han Dynasty organisation on the northern frontier and the location of the Zhidao highway (China). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 53 , Article 104407. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104407. Green open access

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Abstract

Modelling pathways or traffic flows on the basis of only partially-preserved or recovered evidence is of considerable interest to archaeologists. This study uses spatial interaction modelling to investigate the well-known Zhidao (直道) highway that was a major military road to the northern frontier in the Qin-Han Dynasty. The model simulates hypothetical flows among a set of known forts on China's north-western frontier and then compares the results to more and less certain attestations of the route of the Zhidao highway from archaeological and documentary evidence. We are able to reveal: (a) that logistical connectivity was unsurprisingly a priority along the Qin-Han frontier and (b) that the contemporary combination of forts and major east–west defensive walls were integrated via the location of the Zhidao highway. The approach presented here is reproducible via accompanying code and data, and could be transferred to a range of other archaeological applications where military installations, linear defensive works and highways interact in potentially complex and interesting ways.

Type: Article
Title: A spatial interaction model of Qin-Han Dynasty organisation on the northern frontier and the location of the Zhidao highway (China)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104407
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104407
Language: English
Additional information: /© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Network analysis, Transport, Shortest paths, Great Wall of China
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186270
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