The Silk Road Cave Shrines

Sarah Fraser, Bill Parod, Jim Chen, Dennis
Glenn, and Harlan Wallach- Northwestern University;

Maggie Rawlings, Samroeng Thongrong,
Mohammed Ali Khan, Yalu Lin, Jason Leigh-

This project involves a collaboration between historians, artists and computer scientists to create a virtual cultural and artistic exhibit of the Mogoa Grottoes of Dunhuang. Dunhuang, one of western China's ancient cultural sites, is considered the gate way to the well-known Silk Road- the East-West trade route between Asia and Europe.

The Mogoa Grottoes are located in the Gobi desert. It consists of 492 caves with murals covering 25,000 square meters (approx. 269,097 square feet), wall fresco paintings, and more than 3000 painted sculptures. These caves span a period of one thousand years, from the forth century to fourteen century. Each cave and each mural has its own story.

The virtual exhibit of the Grottoes has been under development for a year. Three-dimensional models of the Grottoes have been accurately created using data from researchers at NWU. These models have been imported into
LIMBO as a quick collaborative evaluation and brainstorming tool. This piece is the first collaborative, virtual exhibit of a historic site in the world- demonstrated at Supercomputing 1998 in Orlando Florida.

More Information - Sam Thongrong's Web Page