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.
SEAA News Blog: New Books
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publish archaeological material and in-depth analyses that can provide a greater audience access to evidence previously unpublished or only accessible through articles in not-easily-accessible venues or languages.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.
New book: Tibetan Silver, Gold and Bronze Objects and the Aesthetics of Animals in the Era before Empire
This archaeological and art-historical study is woven around rock art and ancient metallic articles attributed to Tibet. The silver bowls, gold finial, and copper alloy spouted jars and trapezoidal plaques featured are assigned to the Iron Age and Protohistoric period. These rare objects are adorned with zoomorphic subjects mimicking those found in rock art and embody an artistic zeitgeist widely diffused in Central Eurasia in Late Prehistory. Diverse sources of inspiration and technological capability are revealed in these objects and rock art, shedding light on their transcultural dimension. The archaeological and aesthetic materials in this work prefigure the Tibetan cosmopolitanism of early historic times promoted through the spread of Buddhist ideas, art and craft from abroad. The metallic articles and petroglyphs of this study are markers of relationships between Tibet and her neighbours. These transactions enabled a fusion of Tibetan innovation and foreign inventiveness, a synthesis of disparate ideas, aesthetics and technologies in the objects and rock art presented.
Cattle (Bos taurus), domesticated from the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), has been an important animal to many human societies since prehistoric times. Cattle provides not only meat for subsistence, but also hide, blood, dung, milk and traction that contribute to the organization of human beliefs, cultural attitudes and social complexity. This book provides the widest range of cattle bone biometrical information from the Early Neolithic period to the Early Bronze Age (10000 to 3600 years ago) and investigates the morphological variation of this animal from a biological point of view: the main indicator for tracing domestication. The results suggest that cattle in ancient China was imported from the Near East around 4,300 years ago and made their first appearance in the Yellow River Valley. Once they had arrived in central China, these small-sized domesticated cattle soon spread and was exploited intensively from then on.
Haimenkou was an important location, with trade and cultural links connecting parts of modern Southeast Asia and northwestern China in ancient times. This book is based on an analysis of the faunal assemblage recovered from the Haimenkou site during the 2008 field season in Yunnan Province, China. It investigates the human-animal relationships at Haimenkou through a time span running from the late Neolithic Period to the middle Bronze Age (ca. 5000-2400 BP).
Archaeology of East Asia, a BAR sub-series
Series Editor: Dr Anke Hein (University of Oxford, UK).
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. Within this trend, most publishing houses tend to favour textbook-type overviews or big-picture stories; what has been missing so far is 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. Likewise lacking are publication venues for conference proceedings that summarize the most recent findings and insights in a timely manner.
BARNES, Gina L. / SODA Tsutomu (ed.): TephroArchaeology in the North Pacific. Archaeopress, Oxford 2019
‘TephroArchaeology’ is a translation of the Japanese word kazanbai kōkogaku (lit. volcanic ash archaeology), referring to a sub-discipline of archaeology that has developed in Japan in the last few decades. The first book compilation using the term, edited by the doyen of tephroarchaeology, geologist ARAI Fusao, appeared in 1993; chapters were written by 5 geologists, 3 archaeologists, 3 geographers, an engineer, and a historian. From its beginning, this subdiscipline has been interdisciplinary in approach and applied to all time periods throughout the Japanese Islands.
MÜLLER, Shing / HÖLLMANN, Thomas O. / FILIP, Sonja, Early Medieval North China: Archaeological and Textual Evidence, Harrasowitz 2019
The Xianbei from southeast Mongolia were the first foreign sovereignty over North China since the 4th century. During the 200 years of Xianbei rulership, the cultures of old and new inhabitants – the Han-Chinese, the Xianbei and diverse steppe peoples, the Sogdians and other Central Asians from the west – confronted and competed with one another.
JANKOWSKI, Lyce: Les Amis des monnaies, la sociabilité savante des collectionneurs et numismates chinois de la fin des Qing
L’intérêt des collectionneurs pour les monnaies naît en Chine au VIe siècle de notre ère, soit près d’un millénaire avant le premier traité sur la numismatique en Occident. Il se maintient malgré le déclin et l’alternance des différentes dynasties impériales. Au milieu du XVIIIe siècle, l’empereur Qianlong possède la collection la plus complète comprenant toutes les monnaies émises en Asie orientale depuis le VIIe siècle avant notre ère, soit sur près de deux mille cinq cents ans.Mais les monnaies sont aussi soigneusement collectionnées et décrites par des lettrés, « amis des monnaies ».