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冶金術在中國的早期發展及其與歐亞草原的聯繫 The Early Development of Metallurgy in China and Its Connections with the Eurasian Steppe

饒宗頤國學院 (September 29, 2023)

SEMINAR SERIES : Connecting Europe and Asia, Recasting the Glory: Lecture series of Early Encounters between Europe and Asia

LENGTH : 93 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : 冶金術在中國是獨立起源還是自外部傳入?這一問題一直為中國考古和冶金史學者高度關注,自上個世紀四十年代到現在,相關的學術爭議此起彼伏,難有定論。近年來的考古發現為冶金術在中國的起源和早期發展提供了新的證據,也為我們考察這一問題提供了新的視角和思路。依據考古新發現,本報告擬對冶金術在中國的起源和早期發展這一學術問題進行系統地考察和分析,認為有更多的考古證據支持冶金術自歐亞草原傳入中國的見解。


Were metallurgical technologies homegrown or did they come into China from outside? This question has consistently received the scrutiny of archaeologists and metallurgists. From the 1940s to the present, discussion has ebbed and flowed but reaching a definitive conclusion has proved difficult. Archaeological finds in recent years have furnished new evidence supporting a Chinese origin and outlined subsequent early developments, as well as providing new perspectives from which to view the issue and new avenues to investigate. Grounded in these discoveries, this paper devises a roadmap for systematic exploration and analysis of a proposed Chinese origin and its early development but considers that the weight of archaeological evidence still supports the view that metallurgical technologies entered China from the Eurasian steppe.

This paper focuses on the following three issues: 1. The advent of Old-World metallurgical technologies and their diffusion across the Eurasian steppe; 2. The excavation of early bronze artifacts and vestigial evidence of smelting and casting in northwest China; and 3. The development of early Chinese metallurgical technologies and their link to cultures of the Eurasian steppe. It considers that in the third millennium BCE, manufactured metal artifacts entered northwestern China from the Eurasian steppe, and relevant metallurgical technologies followed in their wake, and furthermore that in approximately the early second millennium BCE, they began a process of transformation into an indigenous practice. Subsequently, metallurgical technologies continued their diffusion eastwards entering north China and the central plains. This process of indigenous evolution gathered pace, especially given the stimulus of systems of Chinese ritual practice, leading to the formulation of a uniquely individual technology of composite earthenware mould casting, which in one fell swoop established a foundation for the magnificent culture of bronze artifacts of the Shang and Zhou dynasties.  [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]

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