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Contacts Between the Shang and the South c. 1300–1045 BC

Celine Y. Y. Lai
Publication Year:
128 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 9 tables, 65 figures (49 in colour), 2 maps (1 in colour)
BAR number:


This monograph presents the first thorough study of the bronzes from south-central China. The finds from the Yangtze areas have conventionally been thought to have been entirely inspired by Shang traditions and ritual practices in Henan. This monograph applies the perspective of materiality to argue otherwise. Through investigations of three main bronze types: ritual vessels, bells and weapons, the author suggests that the Yangtze societies were far more independent from the Shang traditions than most archaeologists have understood them to have been.

Celine Lai teaches Archaeology and Museum Studies in Hong Kong. Her research interests cover Early China, Bronze Age Archaeology and museum display and interpretation. Every year since 2014 she has been holding a conference on Chinese Archaeology, hoping to establish a regular platform for academics to exchange new finds and research.

‘Both in Chinese and English, work that takes this holistic approach is very rare, and the author should be commended for her efforts.’ Prof. Dame Jessica Rawson, Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

‘This is an important contribution, as it throws new light on Bronze Age China, especially cultural interactions between several major bronze-using centres during the late Shang period.’ Professor Jianjun Mei, Director of the Needham Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents (S2915_9781407316055_ToC.pdf, 194 Kb) [Download]

Extract from Introduction (S2915_9781407316055_Extract_from_Introduction.pdf, 1,035 Kb) [Download]