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04:00 PM

The archaeological concept of “Iron Age” and the case of China

Prof. Dr. Enno Giele, Universität Heidelberg, Institut für Sinologie

European and Near Eastern archaeology is dominated by the three-fold periodization of stone, bronze, and iron ages, each of which does (or should) not simply denote the arrival of a certain material in the archaeological record but is associated with specific stages of socio-economic development. In China, only the concepts of stone and bronze ages have firmly taken hold in the academic (and popular) discourse, “iron age” is used comparatively rarely and if so, mainly for peripheral areas. The talk discusses the possible reason for this phenomenon as well as strengths and weaknesses of the concept in its potentially global or at least Eurasian application.

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Alle Termine der Veranstaltung '100 years Chinese Archaeology Lecture Series 2021':

Archaeological excavations in China in modern times have occurred since the late 19th century, often organized by non-Chinese expeditions who took advantage of the tumultous times and unregulated situation in many regions. Also and famously, the beginning of the consecutive finds of the so-called oracle bone inscriptions at Anyang can be traced back to the years after 1899. So in many senses, Chinese archaeology is older than a century. However, the 1920s mark another kind of beginning for the discipline, as this was the decade that saw many of the most epochal finds in China, framed by the discovery of the Neolithic Yangshao ceramic complex in 1921 and that of the homo erectus pekinensis in 1929 and including the decades-long first fully Chinese-led modern excavation at Anyang from 1928 onward. Therefore, rather than taking the exact year of the “birth of Chinese archaeology” too seriously, we are happy to use this historical background as a convenient reason to celebrate the really astounding results that this discipline has achieved so far and especially in recent times. This should serve as both an introduction to specialists of non-Chinese archaeologies as well as to non-archaeological specialists on China. And it should serve as a forum for specialists on Chinese archaeology to talk about the latest developments in the field and think together about solutions for some of the more vexing and fascinating problems the field is facing right now. The topics, most of which have a certain provocative edge or focus on unsolved questions, have been chosen with the latter consideration in mind. (Enno Giele, Heidelberg University)

Friday 21st May 2021, 04:00 PM

Neolithic and Bronze Age evidence for the origins of Chinese writing

Prof. Dr. Paola Demattè, Rhode Island School of Design, Department of Theory ans History of Art and Design, Providence / RI (USA)

Friday 28th May 2021, 04:00 PM

A genetic history of humans in East Asia since 10,000 years ago

Prof. Dr. Melinda Yang, University of Richmond (USA), Department of Biology

Friday 11th June 2021, 02:00 PM

Early urbanism at Great Settlement Shang (abgesagt / cancelled)

Prof. Dr. Jing Zhichun, The University of British Columbia, Department of Anthropology, Vancouver / BC (Canada)

Friday 25th June 2021, 04:00 PM

Crafting community along the Yangzi: Charting interaction networks in late Neolithic walled towns

Dr. Camilla Sturm, Columbia University, Department of Anthropology, New York (USA)

Friday 09th July 2021, 04:00 PM

A Study of Bronze Bells of the Western Zhou Period Recovered in Yichang, Hubei

Prof. Dr. Jianjun Mei, Univeristy of Cambridge (GB), The Needham Research Institute

Friday 23rd July 2021, 04:00 PM

The archaeological concept of “Iron Age” and the case of China

Prof. Dr. Enno Giele, Universität Heidelberg, Institut für Sinologie