As a key stopover on the ancient Silk Road, the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes in Northwest China’s Gansu Province have major historical significance. Now, a new technique has been adopted to preserve the ancient murals in the caves. What’s more, it can also help visitors see the murals in all their original glory.
The ancient murals in the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes are ageing like human beings. More than a thousand years since they were painted on the surface of the caves, many of them have become very hard to identify.
However, with the help of a multi-spectral imaging technique, the original colourful paintings can now easily be seen.
"We can’t see any paintings on this wall, but by using the multi-spectral imaging technique, all the layers of paintings can be ’reproduced’," said Su Bomin, director of Conservation Institute of Dunhuang.
Using this technique, archaeologists discovered several paintings featuring exquisite costumes.
This technique also helps researchers analyse the painting skills and characteristics of the murals.
The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes are home to more than two thousand sculptures and 45-thousand square meters of murals across 735 caves. Hopefully the multi-spectral imaging technique will encourage the research and preservation of the unique site.