Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Bronze-vessel Casting Industry and Regional Center of the Huai River Valley during the Shang (ca. 1400–1200 BC)”
Speaker: Xiaolin He, Wuhan University (Visiting Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University)
Time: March 29, 2019 (4:30-6:30 PM)
Location: Faculty House
*please check the announcement board in the first floor lobby for room information
The Huai River in the Central-East China has always been considered an important region for the cultural communications between the Central Plains and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in Bronze Age China. In the past, we knew very little about the regional cultural features, site forms, and social organizations in this area in the Bronze Age, except some chance finds of bronze vessels. Recently, through the collaboration between the Anhui Provincial Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Archaeology of Wuhan University, archaeological works at several sites that dated to the Shang have been carried out, especially at the site of Taijiasi which was excavated from 2014-2017. The excavation allows us to begin to understand the basic cultural features, different grades of sites, and bronze-casting industries between 1400-1200BC in the Huai River valley. Taijiasi is very likely to be a regional center of the Huai River valley in the Shang based on the special settlement and cemetery arrangement, palace buildings, and workshops of bronze vessel-casting bone tool-making, as well as finds of sacrificing pits and oracle bones and shells. Through comparison with several other sites in the region, we ascertain that the local society may contain at least three-grade of mound-like sites.