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Copper and Bronze Metallurgy in Late Prehistoric Xinjiang

Its cultural context and relationshA with neighbouring regions

Jianjun Mei with Foreword by Colin Renfrew


It is only in the last couple of decades that the crucial importance of the westernmost province of China (formerly known as Chinese Turkestan) for the prehistoric period, and specifically for the bronze and iron ages, has come to be recognized. It has come to public attention through the excavation and study of the so called Xinjiang ‘mummies’, in fact desiccated human burials (with wonderfully preserved textiles) going back to before 1000 BCE. The present volume offers the first coherent study of the later prehistory of this region to be available in English, and the first in any language to give a detailed treatment of what is now known of its early metallurgy. In this field the author has been a pioneer, and his metallurgical analyses and his studyof the important mining and smelting site at Nulasai here begin the necessary task of reconstructing the early history of metallurgy in Central Asia.