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At the Franklin Institute, ancient relics meet augmented reality

“Terracotta Warriors” opens Saturday. Here's a look at some of the tech behind the exhibit.

The Terracotta Warriors (on your phone). (Courtesy photo)
Ever hear about the Terracotta Army?

Just in case you haven’t, here’s the tl;dr: Some farmers in China were digging a well back in the 1970s when they came upon some shards of terracotta, leading to the discovery of thousands of life-sized statues that dated back 2,000 years. Turns out it was part of a massive funerary art display in honor of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

Opening Saturday at the Franklin Institute, “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor” will let visitors get a close-up look at 10 of those fabled statues, alongside 160 items associated with the archaeological site. And yes, there’s a tech angle to the traveling expo, which last visited Philly 30 years ago.

Corey Jaskolski, a National Geographic fellow, created 3D models of the figures, which will be available in an app built by Ardmore, Pa.-based Yetzer Studio. The app features mockups of the statues in an augmented-reality setting.

Here’s what the “app experience” will look like:

Companies: Franklin Institute

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