University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
International Studies
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How Chinese lacquerwares traveled to Afghanistan

Abstract:In the 1930s, The French Archaeological Delegation discovered a few fragments of Chinese Han dynasties (206BC-220AD) lacquerwares at the Hellenistic town Begram in Afghanistan. These lacquerware fragments, along with other artifacts from this site, have puzzled generations of scholars. Comparing them with Han Dynasties lacquerwares that have been discovered in China proper and outside, the author finds that they were produced probably at the imperial and major local workshops for satisfying the imperial purpose of consolidating political ties. He also offers a new chronology of 74BC-23AD for the lacquerwares. This temporal frame corresponds to a time when the social life of Begram is obscure in the extant historical records, but it appears that the local aristocrats, for about a hundred years, maintained some political and economic interactions with the Han dynasties.

Speaker:Prof. Liangren Zhang

Bio:Prof. Liangren Zhang is currently teaching at Nanjing University. He earned his doctoral degree from University of California at Los Angele with a dissertation “Ancient Society and Metallurgy”, which was finished in 2007 and published in 2012, unites Bronze Age archaeological materials from Russian Eastern Europe (from Don River to Ural River) and northern China to tackle the issue of the development of social complexity, and the interaction between social complexity and metallurgy in both regions. Returning to China in 2009, he has been focusing his research on prehistoric cultural movements across northern China, Russia, and Iran. He has directed an excavation project at a Bronze Age metalworking settlement of Heishuiguo in Gansu Province and a research project on prehistoric metallurgy of Xinjiang. At present he is directing an excavation project in Russia, and another in Iran. He is now a professor at Nanjing University. To date he has published one monograph (transformed from the dissertation) and some 40 research articles at home and abroad, and two essays on graduate student education《怎样写论文》、《研究生怎样做研究》 on the social media《壹学者》.


27 Mar (2)


27 Mar