February 18, 2022
Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Copper Mining and Bronze Production in Shandong Province: A New Perspective on the Political Economy of the Shang State”
Speaker: Qingzhu Wang, Columbia University
Time: February 18, 2022 (4:30-6:30 PM EST)
The event will be held via Zoom. Please click on “Request Pre-circulated Paper” to register for the event.
As highly valued products and materialized ideology, bronze objects in the Shang period embodied sacred power and were used by elites as ritual paraphernalia to communicate authority and legitimate elite positions. Many scholars have assumed that elites in the Shang capitals controlled the production of bronze objects to gain prestige and maintain power. This presentation provides a case study about the possibility of bronze production in the Daxinzhuang site in Shandong, regarded by many scholars as a peripheral area of the Shang state. I offer an alternative to the common centralization model by emphasizing the agency of local elites and the broader social networks and institutions that structure social interactions and internal state organization.
This lecture is cosponsored by Columbia Center for Archaeology