Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Exotica as prestige technology: the production of luxury gold in Western Han society

  • Yan Liu (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

The recent discovery of the tomb of Liu Fei, King of Jiangdu, in eastern China, has provided a unique insight into the significance of early gold production in Western Han society. The recovery of luxury gold ornaments from mortuary contexts shows that hierarchical social order and status were maintained through the bestowal of these items upon the dead. Production of this gold not only entailed the control of organised local labour, but also the co-opting of methods and stylistic attributes associated with foreign territories. The influence of external aesthetics on local production may have helped imbue these artefacts with the prestige and significance that they carried for the elites who bore them into the afterlife.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Exotica as prestige technology: the production of luxury gold in Western Han society
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Exotica as prestige technology: the production of luxury gold in Western Han society
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Exotica as prestige technology: the production of luxury gold in Western Han society
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Anhui (Anhui Sheng Wenwu Kaogu Yanjiusuo). 2007. Chaohu Han mu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Armbruster B. 2009. Gold technology of the ancient Scythians—gold from the kurgan Arzhan 2, Tuva, in Guerra M.F. & Rehren Th. (ed.) Authentication and analysis of goldwork (ArcheoSciences 33) : 187–93. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Renne.
Barbieri-Low A. 2007. Artisans in early imperial China. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Berg I. 2004. The meanings of standardization: conical cups in the late Bronze Age Aegean. Antiquity 299: 7485. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00092942
Brumfield E. & Earle T. (ed.). 1987. Specialization, exchange, and complex societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bunker E. 1993. Gold in the ancient Chinese world: a cultural puzzle. Artibus Asiae 53: 2750. https://doi.org/10.2307/3250506
Bunker E. 2002. Nomadic art of the eastern Eurasian steppes, the Eugene V. Thaw and other New York collections. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Cugunov K.V., Parzinger H. & Nagler A.. 2010. Der skythenzeitliche Fürstenkurgan Arzan 2 in Tuva. Mainz: von Zabern.
Cunliffe B. 2015. By steppe, desert, and ocean: the birth of Eurasia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dashkovskiy P.K. & Usova I.A.. 2011. Pazyryk burial at Khankarinsky Dol in the northwestern Altai. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 39 (3): 7884. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeae.2011.11.006
Gansu (Gansu Sheng Wenwu Kaogu Yanjiusuo). 2014. Xirong yizhen, Majiayuan Zhanguo mudi chutu wenwu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Gu B. 2006. Hanshu. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju.
Guangzhou (Guangzhou Shi Wenwu Guanli Weiyuanhui). 1991. Xi Han Nanyue wang mu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Hayashi T. 2012. Griffin motif: from the West to East Asia via the Altai. Parthica 14: 4964.
Hayden B. 1998. Practical and prestige technologies: the evolution of material systems. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 5: 155. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02428415
Hebei Bowuyuan. 2014. Dahan juechang. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Hebei Sheng Wenwu Yanjiusuo. 1996. Yan xia du. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Helms M. 1988. Ulysses’ sail: an ethnographic odyssey of power, knowledge, and geographical distance. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
Honeychurch W. 2014. From Steppe Roads to Silk Roads, in Amitai R. & Biran M. (ed.) Nomads as agents of cultural change: the Mongols and their Eurasian predecessors: 5089. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
Honeychurch W. 2015. Inner Asia and the spatial politics of empire: archaeology, mobility, and cultural contact. New York: Springer.
HSB & ZKKY Hunan Sheng Bowuguan & Zhongguo Kexueyuan Kaogu Yanjiusuo. 1973. Changsha Mawangdui yi hao Han mu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Khazbulatov A.R. 2012. Jewelry on the golden man's costume—masterpieces of world significance. Мir Nauki, Kul'tury, Obrazovaniya 1 (32): 3639.
Lattimore O. 1962. Studies in frontier history: collected papers, 1928–1958. Paris: Mouton.
Ledderose L. 2001. Ten thousand things: module and mass production in Chinese art. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
Li L.N. 2007. Xihan Nanyuewang bowuguan zhenpin tulu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Lin J. 2012. The search for immortality: tomb treasures of Han China. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.
Liu Q.Z. 2013. Guanyu Xuyi Dayunshan hanmu kaogu yanjiu de jige wenti. Dongnan wenhua 1: 8186.
Liu Y. 2012. Primary study of the Han dynasty official workshops based on the inscribed lacquer dining vessels for imperial use. Zhuangshi 8: 7677.
Liu Y.T. 2015. Shandong Lüxian fulaishan Xi Han Chengyangguo muzang fajue jianbao. Dongnan wenhua 4: 2832.
Ma J. 2009. Huangjin zhipin suojian zhongya caoyuan yu zhongguo zaoqi wenhua jiaoliu. Xiyu yanjiu 3: 5064.
Marazov I. 1998. Ancient gold: the wealth of the Thracians, treasures from the Republic of Bulgaria. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Musée Cernuschi. 2001. L'or des Amazones: peuples nomades entre Asie et Europe. VIe siècle av. J.-C.-IVe siècle apr. J.-C. Paris: Paris-Musées & Fíndakly.
Nanjing Bowuyuan. 2012. Jiangsu Xuyixian Dayunshan Han mu. Kaogu 2012 (7): 5359.
Nanjing Bowuyuan. 2013a. Changwuxiangwang, Du Xuyi Dayunshan Jiangdu wangling. Nanjing: Yilin chubanshe.
Nanjing Bowuyuan. 2013b. Jiangsu Xuyixian Dayunshan Xi Han Jiangdu wangling yi hao mu. Kaogu 2013(10): 368.
Nanjing Bowuyuan. 2013c. Jiangsu Xuyi Dayunshan Jiangdu wangling M9, M10 fajue jianbao. Dongnan wenhua 1: 5169.
Nickel L. 2012. The Nanyue silver box. Arts of Asia 42 (3): 98107.
Ogden J. 1982. Jewellery of the ancient world. London: Trefoil.
Pan L. 2015. The transformation of cultural exchange between north China and the Eurasian steppe from the Late Warring States period to the Middle Western Han. Asian Archaeology 3: 95106.
Peregrine P. 1991. Some political aspects of craft specialization. World Archaeology 23: 111. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.1991.9980155
Polos’mak N., Bogdanov E.S., Chistiakova A.N. & Kundo L.P.. 2011. Lacquer ear-cups from burial mound 20 in Noyon Uul, in Brosseder U. & Miller B.K. (ed.) Xiongnu archaeology, multidisciplinary perspectives of the First Steppe Empire in Inner Asia: 327–32. Bonn: Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Qi D.F. 1999. Tangdai jinyinqi yanjiu. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.
Rawson J. 2001. Strange beasts in Han and post-Han imagery, in Juliano A.L. & Lerner J.A. (ed.) Nomads, traders and holy men along China's Silk Road, papers presented at a symposium held at the Asia Society in New York, November 9–10: 2332. Turnhout: Brepols.
Rawson J. 2010. Carnelian beads, animal figures and exotic vessels: traces of contact between the Chinese states and Inner Asia, ca. 1000–650 BC, in Wagner M. & Wang W. (ed.) Bridging Eurasia (Archäologie in China 1) : 141. Berlin: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
Rawson J. 2012. The Han Empire and its northern neighbors: the fascination of the exotic, in Lin J. (ed.) The search for immortality: tomb treasures of Han China: 2336. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.
Rudenko S.I. 1970. Frozen tombs of Siberia. The Pazyryk burials of Iron Age horsemen. Translated by M.W. Thompson. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.
Samashev Z.S. 2012. The Berel Kurgans: some results of investigation, in Stark S. & Rubinson K.S. (ed.) Nomads and networks, the ancient art and culture of Kazakhstan: 3049. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
So J.F. & Bunker E.C.. 1995. Traders and raiders on China's northern frontier. Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Stark S. 2012. Nomads and networks: elites and their connections to the outside world, in Stark S. & Rubinson K.S. (ed.) Nomads and networks, the ancient art and culture of Kazakhstan: 107–38. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
Sun J. 1996. Zhongguo shenghuo. Shengyang: Liaoning jiaoyu chubanshe.
Sun J. 1999. Jianguo yilai xifang qiwu zai woguo de faxian yu yanjiu. Wenwu 1999(10): 6980.
Treister M.Y. 2001. Hammering techniques in Greek and Roman jewellery and toreutics (Colloquia Pontica 8). Edited by J. Hargrave. Leiden: Brill.
Xibei (Xibei Daxue Wenhua Yichan Xueyuan). 2016. Xinjiang Hami Balikun xigou yizhi 1 hao mu fajue jianbao. Wenwu 2016(5): 1531.
Xuzhou (Xuzhou Han Wenhua Fengjing Yuanling Guanlichu). 2011. Shizishan wangling. Nanjing: Nanjing chubanshe.
Yablonsky L.T. 2010. New excavations of the early nomadic burial ground at Filippovka (southern Ural region, Russia). American Journal of Archaeology 114: 129–43. https://doi.org/10.3764/aja.114.1.129
Yablonsky L.T. 2015. Unusual new findings at Filippovka-1 burial mound 1, southern Urals. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 43 (2): 97108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeae.2015.09.010
Yang J.H. & Linduff K.M.. 2013. A contextual explanation for ‘foreign’ or ‘steppic’ factors exhibited in burials at the Majiayuan cemetery and the opening of the Tianshan Mountain corridor. Asian Archaeology 1: 7384.
Yangzhou (Yangzhou Shi Wenwu Kaogu Yanjiusuo). 2010. Jingsu Yangzou Xi Han Liu Wuzhi mu fajue jianbao. Wenwu 2010 (3): 1936.
Yue L.J. 2003. Xi'an beijiao Zhanguo zhutong gongjiangmu fajue jianbao. Wenwu 2003 (9): 414.
Zhang J.M. 2005. Zhanguo beifang caoyuan gudai jinyinqi. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Zhongguo (Zhongguo Shehui Kexueyuan). 1978. Mancheng Han mu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 86
Total number of PDF views: 155 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 624 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 6th December 2017 - 22nd February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.