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Ritual and Technology in Chinese Ceremonial Weapons

Long Dagger-Axe (Ge) with Curved, Inlaid Haft, Chinese, 14th–11th century BC, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

Long Dagger-Axe (Ge) with Curved, Inlaid Haft, Chinese, 14th–11th century BC, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Ritual and Technology in Chinese Ceremonial Weapons
Two-Point Perspective Gallery Talk

Rowan Flad, 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 scientific 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 scientific 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.

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