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The Ancient Highlands of Southwest China – From the Bronze Age to the Han Empire - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Ancient Highlands of Southwest China: From the Bronze Age to the Han Empire

Alice Yao


Although long considered to be a barren region on the periphery of ancient Chinese civilization, the southwest massif was once the political heartland of numerous Bronze Age kingdoms during the first millennium BC. Their distinctive material tradition—intricately cast bronze kettledrums and cowrie shell containers—have given archaeologists and historians a glimpse of the extraordinary wealth, artistry, and power exercised by highland leaders in prehistory. After a millennium of rule, however, imperial conquest under the Han state in 109 BC reduced local power, leading to the disappearance of B ... More

Keywords: Bronze Age, Southwest China, imperialism, bronze drum culture, funerary traditions, Dian and Mimo

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199367344
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367344.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alice Yao, author
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago