The Tomb of Lady Hao
Lady Hao was a warrior and a general,
the third wife of the last Shang Dynasty Emperor. Jane
Vadnal and Jeffrey Jacobson
have created a three dimensional schematic of some of the layers in the
tomb and some of the objects found there. This application is open source and freely
available for non-commercial purposes.
If you do make use of it, we only ask that you include the URL this page.
To access Lady Hao, you need to install a plug-in for your web browser. I reccommend either Octagon or BS Contact When you are ready, start the application by clicking:
Hao Tomb. Alternatively, you can download hao.zip to get it all in one piece.
Instructions and Overview
This computer project contains information
about the nature and location of 25 objects found in an ancient Chinese
royal tomb. This tomb, which belonged to Lady Hao, one of the principal
wives of a Shang emperor, was a pit filled with layers of objects separated
by layers of packed earth. The three-dimensional model in the window on
the right side of the window (the virtual tomb) shows the approximate location
of these objects and provides links to more information about them. The
three planes in the model represent layers of the tomb, while each object
is shown as a flat image which always faces the viewer, no matter what
angle it is seen from. You can use the navigation tools along the bottom
of the window to move the whole set of layers and objects.
HOW TO USE THE MODEL
SELECTING OBJECTS AND DETERMINING OBJECT
To find out more about an object,
move your cursor directly over it. The cursor will change into a circle
of radiating lines. When this happens, click with the left mouse button.
. This will cause several things to happen:
3. Two or three "attribute" buttons
will appear in the upper right corner of the model window.
A picture of the object will appear
in the window on the left side of the screen, along with a short paragraph
about it, and a summary list of descriptive terms.
In the model itself a red square will
appear around the object you clicked on. Within the red square there is
a "scale ruler" made up of five red dashes. This ruler is important because
the size of the objects has been standardized- they all appear to be about
the same size in the virtual tomb, but in real life, they are not. To estimate
the real size of the object, compare it to the ruler. For example, the
ruler is as long as the object is on the vertical dimension, then the object
is five centimeters tall. If it is only a third as long, then the object
is three times as long, or fifteen centimeters.
The top button indicates whether the
object originated from the Shang Chinese culture or some other.
The second (if it is there) indicates
whether the object was used in religious rituals or was a perusal item.
The third button indicates the dominant
or most important material from which the object is made. Possible materials
are Jade, Stone, Bronze or Bone.
As mentioned above, object you clicked
is highlighted in red. If you click on one of the attribute buttons all
objects that share that attribute will be highlighted with a transparent
green square, including the primary object. For example, if an object made
of jade is selected, a button marked "Jade" will appear. If you click on
the "jade" button, all the objects made of jade will be highlighted.
Additionally, there are three buttons
in the lower right, which are always there:
The attribute buttons are toggles, meaning
that you can turn them on and off by clicking them. You can do this in
OR mode or AND mode to quickly make queries on groups or types of objects.
XOR: When this button is clicked on,
the model is in "EXCLUSIVE-OR" mode. In this mode, when you click an attribute
button, the previous attribute button will go inactive. It guarantees that
you are only looking at one attribute at a time.
OR: When this button is clicked on,
the model is in "OR" mode. In this case, when you click two or three attribute
buttons in sequence, all objects that share at least one of those
attributes will light up.
AND: When this button is clicked on,
the application is in "AND" mode. When you click two or three attribute
buttons in sequence, the only objects that light up are the ones that share
attributes for ALL of them.
NOTE: The three layers of the tomb
are represented with a fine white mesh. You cannot select an object if
this mesh is positioned between you and the object. Click on one of the
objects that is covered by the mesh to see that this is so.
The image above, shows all objects
that are both for personal use and made of Jade.
Programmer's Notes (JJ)
As proud as I am of this, I admit
the implementation is rather perverse. It uses over 3500 lines of VRML
2.0 and VRMLscript to implement everything, including the buttons. It would
be much more efficient and technologically correct to have made HTML buttons
and tied them to the VRML model with little Java scripts. However, this
was my first VRML application and I was building it under deadline--didn't
want to have to learn Java at the same time. At least it has the advantage
of being quite robust, and flexible in some ways. Being part of the 3D
model, it is now easy to do weird things with the buttons, like making
them into a pop-up menu attached to the objects themselves. And, yes, I
programmed this directly, rather than using any kind of tool to create