Archaeologists use drone to take photos of major road 2,000 years ago

Workers prepare a drone for taking aerial photos of Qinzhidao at Runzhen township, Chunhua, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Nov 11, 2018. [Photo by Huo Yan/chinadaily.com.cn]

An archaeological team from the National Museum of China launched a program of using drones to take aerial photos of Qinzhidao, the main road of Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), at Chunhua county of Xianyang, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Sunday.

Qinzhidao was the first national main road of Qin Dynasty, like the expressways of today. It is about 900 kilometers long and 30 to 50 meters wide, starting from Tiewang township at Chunhua to Jiuyuanjun, a place near Baotou, Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The team leader Li Gang said that it was the first time that drones were used to take photos of the whole Qinzhidao. There were some photos taken from planes and satellites, but they were not clear enough.

Li said the program will clarify the locations and directions of the roads.

The program will be wrapped up within 40 days.