Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “The Material Culture of Personal Adornment in Ancient China”
Speaker: Sheri Lullo, Union College
Time: February 7, 2020 (4:30-6:30 PM)
Location: Faculty House (*please check the announcement board in the first floor lobby for room information)
This presentation considers the increasingly wide range of toiletries, objects of adornment and personal items found in cosmetic boxes that were buried with middle and upper-ranking members of Warring States and Han society. Recent findings from Han princely tombs will be discussed along with more well-known finds. The talk centers on the forms, variety and functions of lacquered cosmetic boxes and their contents, with consideration of the potential for these boxes to collect, contain, compartmentalize, conceal and protect a selection of objects intimate to individualized bodies. Discussion shifts from the practical uses of toiletries to consideration of the versatility of material culture with regard to meaning and purpose, and finally, the symbolic function of these assemblages within the context of death and burial.