China

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Review: China – visions through the ages

China: visions through the ages Lisa C Niziolek, Deborah A Bekken, and Gary M Feinman (eds) University of Chicago Press, $45 ISBN 978-0226385372 People across China’s vast and diverse landscape have long been creating works in a range of materials, such as bronze, jade, porcelain, and paint, and the results of their handiwork can be […]

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Army of the dead

Around 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses were created in battle formation to protect the burial place of China’s first emperor. But what can modern technology reveal about these faithful soldiers?

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It sounds more like Hollywood than archaeology: thousands of life-size sculpted soldiers, brandishing real weapons and faithfully guarding an emperor’s tomb for millennia. Yet the terracotta warriors are no special effect. These soldiers are believed to have been individually crafted, capturing an army on the cusp of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The resources and […]

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Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia

After two years of refurbishment, the British Museum has reopened its longest gallery, devoted to China and South Asia. Artefacts are back on display in the listed mahogany cases, offering a chronological journey through the rich collections from Neolithic pottery to Ravi Shankar’s sitar. A vast Ming dynasty mural (c.1424- 1468) from a Buddhist temple […]

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Object lesson: bronze bo

What is it? This ancient Chinese bronze bell is one of a set of four. It is decorated with birds forming a suspension loop, coiled serpents as bosses, and dragons on the bottom panel. Each bell in the group is of a different size (this one measures 66.4cm in height and 47cm in width) and […]

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Hello, everyone! It is wonderful to be here, and I am looking forward to exploring sites and discoveries around the world with you. First, we travel down the spectacular long and winding Siq that leads to Petra. There, the Nabataeans founded one of the most beautiful, and perhaps also unlikely, cities in the ancient world. What persuaded these […]

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In France, archaeologists have uncovered a huge Iron Age chariot burial that is puzzling archaeologists. It is the largest yet found, and belongs to a Celtic aristocrat who enjoyed high social standing in life. But is this chief a man or a woman? The funerary complex is unusual, too: no settlement has been found close enough to be associated […]

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The spectacular untouched tomb of Prince Liang Zhuang, favourite brother of the Ming emperor Xuande, has been hailed as China’s greatest discovery for a century. Not only was the treasure found in the burial chamber among the richest ever recovered, but the dazzling jewels that adorn the artefacts are evidence of expeditions undertaken by one of the most famous […]

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Today, nothing survives in the hot, arid environment of the Taklamakan Desert in north-western China. Yet, it is thanks to these conditions that we can look into the faces of people who settled there more than 3,500 years ago. Inspired by the discovery at the beginning of the 20th century of Bronze Age mummies in neighbouring Lop Nor Desert, […]

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Finding the archaeological evidence for a major turning point in history is something few archaeologists will experience. Finding the remains of a sea battle has never been done. Archaeologists working off the coast of Sicily have achieved both when they recovered the bronze rams from the warships lost at the Battle of the Egadi Islands. This was the battle […]

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