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A handled mirror found at the Galazong burial site (1390–530 BCE) in northwestern Yunnan indicates that Gansu-Qinghai influenced the production of metal objects in southeastern Tibet, as part of the same northern bronze metallurgical tradition (., 81, 82). Unfortunately, to date, very little has been published on the so-called Late Zongri culture. 38 of Jianjun Mei / Xu Jianwei / Chen Kunlong / Shen Lu / Wang Hui. C.: Archetype Publications with the Freer Gallery of Art. The acquisition of metallurgical capabilities and materials emanating from the Eurasian steppe and their reconfiguration in sundry cultures of Xinjiang and northwestern China, etc.Based on double-handled ceramics, metal weapons and cist tombs in northwestern Yunnan and western Sichuan, it can be shown that complex influences and transfers were involved in this process, not just a single wave of diffusion.* However, the nature of cultural interrelationships between these conterminous regions remains unclear ( centuries BCE, there was another phase of interaction between southeastern Tibet and the Northern Zone, marked by bronze belt plaques, iron daggers with bronze handles, and the remains of animal sacrifice (Miyamoto 2014: 87). 2012: “Recent Research on Early Bronze Metallurgy in Northwest China”, in , pp. Archaeological evidence strongly suggests that bronze metallurgy in the Eurasian steppes preceded its development in northwestern China, which predates its emergence in southwestern China.* The Eurasian steppes and northwestern China also had some impact on the appearance of bronze metallurgy in the central plains of China and in southeast Asia. Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Museum Publications. 2001: “Xinjiang and northwestern China around 1000 bc: Cultural contacts and transmissions”, in (eds. must have helped to enhance strategic goals and consolidate political relationships among the full gamut of adopters.Although of practical utility in scientific study, it is increasingly recognized that the concept of an archaeological culture has inherent limitations. I concur with Jianjun Mei () that one does not necessarily need to postulate the mass movement of people to account for the widespread dispersal of Seima-Turbino, Okunev, Andronovo or Karasuk bronze objects and influences in the LNMP.

Many of these objects feature art in the Eurasian animal style. 2014: “Introduction: Diffusionism, Migration and the Archaeology of the Chinese Border Regions”, in (ed. It is not clear however how bronze metallurgy was carried from the steppes to northwestern China, or what role independent innovation might have played in the process. Bronze metallurgy purposed as a military emblem and political tool can be seen as a powerful magnet in its transfer across many geographic, linguistic and cultural divides.

It is generally thought that there were probably two major bands of diffusion: one coming from the mountains and deserts to the west and another one issuing from Mongolia in the north. Although pragmatic considerations such as political advantage and military prowess were in all probability instrumental in the propagation of bronze industries in Xinjiang, northwestern China and far eastern Tibet, these were undoubtedly manifested in tandem with potent ceremonial and religious factors.* The awe and respect that bronze metallurgy commanded in the late third and second millennia BCE would have engendered a novel ideological universe in order to promote its uptake and utilization. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

As part of my ongoing efforts to understand the cultural and historical complexion of pre-Buddhist Tibet, I have tried to gain access to as many private collections of Tibetan bronze artifacts as possible. It appears to have originated in the Altai and central Mongolia with their abundant tin deposits and spread to the east and to the west. These cultures produced copper and bronze knives, mirrors, axes, awls, earrings, and spearheads, etc. It is thought that the Qijia and Siba were probably most closely connected to cultures in the west. A conjunction of different peoples served to project technological innovation farther and farther afield, effectively as part of the Zeitgeist or interregional consciousness of the times. The spread of bronze metallurgy was but one mechanism in interactions between peoples over a wide geographical compass.

Over the last three decades, I have also made extensive observations in the Chinese and international arts and antiquities market, significantly expanding the range of objects available for study. Recent studies have confirmed the crucial role the Gansu-Qinghai region played in the development of copper and bronze metallurgy in northwest China during the first half of the second millennium BC.* Most of the early copper and bronze objects discovered in the Gansu-Qinghai region are associated with the so-called Qijia (upper Yellow River valley [r Ma-chu]), ca. See discussions in Jianjun Mei / Pu Wang / Kunlong Chen / Lu Wang / Yingchen Wang / Yaxiong Liu. Be that as it may, these two archaeological cultures extend from the northeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau to the Hexi corridor, making it unlikely that they were monolithic cultural groups in the anthropological sense of the word. It appears to me that the transfer of bronze objects and metallurgy was not a sporadic occurrence but a sustained progression (rapid or otherwise) engulfing one people after another in Xinjiang, northwestern China and far eastern Tibet. For a model of Bronze Age social interaction in the eastern Eurasian steppes predicated on pastoralist strategies redefining local landscapes and promoting wider networks of exchange, which seem to have led on occasion to flashes of rapid connectivity and diffusion, see Frachetti, Michael D. Other crucial mechanisms advancing long-distance communications in the Late Bronze Age included the spread of cultivars, stock-rearing, ceramics production, and mobile economies.

In the last few years the dispersal of to those wanting Tibetan religious symbols or good luck pieces in China, Taiwan and other countries has further muddied the waters for any encompassing appraisal of subject. Qijia bronze objects show strong affinities with the Seima-Turbino phenomenon, which reached northwestern China either from Xinjiang but more probably from the Mongolian Altai. Conversely, more progressive cultures may have developed it earlier than their neighbors.* Postulating alinear vectors of transmission may help to explain the dating of bronze objects that do not match the geographic trends.

Archaeometallurgy (archaeological study of ancient metals) is based upon scientific methods, including the retrieval of materials in secure contexts and their study using an array of modern tools. For example, there is evidence for possible local bronze production in the Hexi Corridor in the late third millennium BCE (Jianjun Mei 2015 .: 222), and a few copper and bronze objects found at Majiayao and Machang sites in Gansu are thought to date to the early and late third millennium BCE respectively (Jianjun Mei 2009: 220, 222).His work is a helpful review of some findings made by Chinese archaeologists in Tibet since the 1980s. Utilizing an anthropological model to characterize the cultural complexion of the 2500-km long swathe of territory between northern Xinjiang and southeastern Tibet paves the way to a nuanced theoretical discussion regarding the spread of bronze metallurgy there.Huo Wei integrates information presented in Chinese and foreign publications (some of these sources are cited in his article, others are not). 2014: “Shi lun Xizang faxian de zaoqi jinshuqi he zaoqi jinshu shidai (On the Early Metal Wares and Early Metal Age in Tibet)”, in from private collections around the world. The Seima-Turbino phenomenon denotes the relatively rapid and widespread dispersal of tin-bronze objects (socketed spearheads and axes and knife-daggers) across the Eurasian steppes. 2009: “Early Metallurgy and Socio-Cultural Complexity: Archaeological Discoveries in Northwest China”, in (eds. In my view, the diffusion of bronze metallurgy in the LNMP was dependent on a web of sociocultural forces and the multiarticulated communications they spawned in the region.It was in the Iron Age that production of copper alloy talismans and other types of metallic objects increased substantially in Tibet, part and parcel of new forms of development in the technological, architectural and social spheres. Philadelphia: Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania. The broad array of ethnicities, cultures and languages involved in the dissemination of bronze metallurgy is known to us in proxy through the archaeological cultures of Xinjiang, northwestern China and far eastern Tibet.The origins of metallurgy on the WTP are shrouded in mystery. The earliest Bronze Age remains (including metals) in Xinjiang are quite limited, suggesting that the region was sparsely populated before the arrival of Europoids from the west prior to 1800 BCE.* This early population is commonly equated with the Tocharians.† It is also thought that herders from the Altai migrated to the Tarim Basin at a somewhat earlier date, forming the Shamirshak (Uighur) / Qiemu’qiereke (Chinese) culture.‡ It exhibits traits of archaeological cultures from the western and eastern steppes including the Afanasievo, Okunev and Catacomb-Poltavka cultures (. The diffusion of copper alloy objects and technologies in these regions in the Late Bronze Age, however, was not simply predicated on a two-way avenue linking a handful of archaeological cultures.It is advised that readers begin with Part 1 of the article in order to acquaint themselves with the material. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. 2000–1550 BCE) shows that these types of objects have cognate forms, as part of the Seima-Turbino phenomenon and as part of the Andronovo culture (ca. 2200–1800 BCE) of the eastern steppes (Jianjun Mei 2009: 217).* Nevertheless, many typical metal objects of the steppes such as socketed celts with geometric patterns and daggers and knives with zoomorphic handle decorations (Seima-Turbino phenomenon) and shaft-hole axes (Andronovo) are not represented among the metal objects of the Qijia, Siba and Tianshanbeilu cultures,† which according to Jianjun Mei, suggest that communications between these cultures were indirect, small-scale and sporadic and not involving large demic transfers (2009: 218).

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