8 research outputs found

    Ancient China and its Eurasian Neighbors: Artifacts, Identity, and Death in the Frontier, 3000-700 BCE

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    This volume examines the role of objects in the region north of early dynastic state centers, at the intersection of Ancient China and Eurasia, a large area that stretches from Xinjiang to the China Sea, from c.3000 BCE to the mid-eighth century BCE. This area was a frontier, an ambiguous space that lay at the margins of direct political control by the metropolitan states, where local and colonial ideas and practices were reconstructed transculturally. These identities were often merged and displayed in material culture. Types of objects, styles, and iconography were often hybrids or new to the region, as were the tomb assemblages in which they were deposited and found. Patrons commissioned objects that marked a symbolic vision of place and person and that could mobilize support, legitimize rule, and bind people together. Through close examination of key artifacts, this book untangles the considerable changes in political structure and cultural makeup of ancient Chinese states and their northern neighbors.https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/books/1138/thumbnail.jp

    Deer or Horses with Antlers? Wooden Figures Adorning Herders in the Altai

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    Among the burials of horse herders who lived in the 4th–3rd centuries BCE Altai Mountains of South Siberia were some that contained small wooden figures of four-legged hoofed animals that represent horses, deer, or hybrid creatures. They decorated headgear buried with select commoners of the Pazyryk Culture. Although the people, material possessions, and horses of the elites were frequently ornamented with imagery often associated with the so-called Scytho-Siberian animal style, these figurines are generally more realistic and less stylized representations of natural creatures, either cervids or horses. There is, however, ambiguity in these representations; in some cases, figures that are horses have inset recesses on the tops of their heads, in addition to holes for ear inserts. This recalls the elaborate headdresses on some horses outfitted with large displays of antlers or horns made of wood, leather, and felt buried with the Pazyryk leaders. The implication of this ambiguity is explored here. Horses were “cultural capital and tokens of clout” (see Andreeva Introduction, this volume) in the Pazyryk Culture, as well as the base of the economy. Deer were foundational to older belief systems in Siberia. The commingling of horse, mountain goat/ibex, and deer features in Pazyryk Culture imagery has inspired this study

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