SEAA News Blog: New Books
The Oxford Handbook of Early China
Edited by Elizabeth Childs-Johnson
The Oxford Handbook on Early China brings 30 scholars together to cover early China from the Neolithic through Warring States periods (ca 5000-500BCE). The study is chronological and incorporates a multidisciplinary approach, covering topics from archaeology, anthropology, art history, architecture, music, and metallurgy, to literature, religion, paleography, cosmology, religion, prehistory, and history.
Author: Susanne Reichert
Author: Susanne Reichert
The Western Han dynasty (202 BCE–9 CE) was a foundational period for the
artistic culture of ancient China, a fact particularly visible in the era’s
funerary art. Iconic forms of Chinese art such as dazzling suits of jade;
cavernous, rock-cut mountain tombs; fancifully ornate wall paintings; and
armies of miniature terracotta warriors were prepared for the tombs of the
elite during this period. Many of the finest objects of the Western Han have
been excavated from the tombs of kings, who administered local provinces on behalf of the emperors.
In recent years, major new archaeological discoveries have redefined the development of towns and cities in the Japanese archipelago. The uncovering of the plans of major port towns such as Sakai, Kusado Sengen and Ichijōdani, and the revealing of early phases in the development of cities such as Kamakura and Hakata provide an important new resource in understanding the cultural and economic processes which shaped medieval Japan.
This fully illustrated book provides a sampler of these findings for a western audience. The new discoveries from Japan are set in context of medieval archaeology beyond Japan by accompanying essays from leading European specialists.
NEW BOOK: Drawn and Written in Stone: An Inventory of Stepped Shrines and Early Rock Inscriptions in Upper Tibet (ca. 100 BCE to 1400 CE)
Author: John Vincent Bellezza
Drawn and Written in Stone explores the religious history of the highest part of the Tibetan Plateau through its rock art and inscriptions. It is focused on facsimiles of ritual and ceremonial monuments carved and painted on stone surfaces and rock inscriptions in the Tibetan language, vital archaeological and historical materials for appraising the development of religion in Tibet, ca. 100 BCE to 1400 CE. By probing the complexion of figures and letters in stone, this work considers how early cult traditions contributed to the establishment of Tibetan Buddhism and a rival faith known as Yungdrung Bon. Outside of the Indian cultural context, relatively little has been written about the historical antecedents of these popular Tibetan religions for a want of sources. This monograph helps remedy this large gap in Tibetan studies by drawing upon the author’s surveys of rock art and rock inscriptions conducted in upmost Tibet between 1995 and 2013.
From the 1790s until World War I, Western museums filled their shelves with art and antiquities from around the world. These objects are now widely regarded as stolen from their countries of origin and demands for their repatriation grow louder by the day. In The Compensations of Plunder, Justin M. Jacobs brings to light the historical context of the exodus of cultural treasures from northwestern China.
Over 40,000 lethal bronze weapons were discovered with thousands of terracotta warriors in the tomb complex of the Qin First Emperor (259-210 BC). This book carries out the first systematic and comprehensive study on these weapons to investigate the mass production and labour organisation in early imperial China. The research draws upon extensive measurements, typological analysis and related statistical treatment, as well as a study of the spatial distribution of the bronze weapons. A combination of metrical and spatial data is used to assess the degree of standardisation of the weapons’ production, and to evaluate the spatial patterns in the array of the Terracotta Army. This provides further information about the labour organisation behind the production, transportation and placement of weapons as they were moved from the workshop and/or arsenal to the funeral pits. Integrating these insights with inscriptions, tool marks, and chemical analysis, this book fills a gap in the study of mass production, the behaviour of craftspeople, and related imperial logistical organisation in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), marking the most crucial early stage in Chinese political unification.
Archaeology of East Asia
New specialist sub series
Series Editors: Anke Hein (Oxford)
In recent years, the archaeology of East Asia has been receiving increasing interest among scholars world-wide, leading to an upsurge in publications in western languages as well as an increase of presentations and panels on that topic at international archaeological conferences. This series offers a venue to publish archaeological material and in-depth analyses that can provide a greater audience access to evidence previously unpublished or only accessible through articles in not-easily-accessible venues or languages. The series provides a platform for data-rich studies on a variety of topics and materials from all over East Asia as well as conference proceedings reflecting the newest research insights and trends. We encourage projects that cross-national borders even into adjoining regions and/or cover areas usually overlooked in main-stream research. This includes all parts of China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, the Tibetan Plateau as a whole, and the northern reaches of Southeast Asia. Especially encouraged are submissions proposing and conducting new approaches and methods in all aspects of archaeology including scientific techniques, spatial analysis, various digital methods, but also theory and model-based or traditional chronology-focused studies.