Ritual and Technology in Chinese Ceremonial Weapons
September 19, 2012
Rowan Flad, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University. Ariel O’Connor, Assistant Objects Conservator, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums
Ornately decorated ritual weapons from the Xia and Shang dynasties (c. 2070–1046 BC) exemplify strength, power, and elitism in early Chinese society, yet little is known about their manufacture and use. Examining these objects through scienti?c methods, including X-radiography and micro-CT scanning, has yielded new observations about early technology, production organization, and burial practices in ancient China. This gallery talk will highlight recent scienti?c analysis in combination with archaeological and contextual evidence to reveal new insights into elite ritual weapons in ancient Chinese society.
This series considers objects from more than one point of view. The informal talks, many of them by Harvard Art Museums curators, conservators, and educators and Harvard University faculty members, are designed to stimulate thinking about works of art and to encourage participants to explore their own ways of seeing.
Free with the price of admission.
Gallery talks are informal and include discussion. Limited to 25 participants; please arrive early.