Wednesday, 9 January 2019

MFA Conservation: Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion

“Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion” (early 12th century) is the centerpiece of our Song Dynasty Gallery. Here, conservator Abigail Hykin shares discoveries made about the sculpture’s history during an 18-month restoration project, which involved UV imaging, x-radiography, radiocarbon dating and other techniques.

Published on Nov 10, 2016

Thursday, 15 November 2018

"Gandhara - Buddhism culture figure and form" exhibition in Matsudo Museum Japan



  • 期間
    2018年9月22日(土曜)から11月25日(日曜) 9時30分から17時(入館は16時30分まで)
    ※無料観覧日 11月3日(土曜・文化の日)、11月23日(金曜・勤労感謝の日)
  • 内容
  • 会場
    松戸市立博物館 企画展示室  
  • 観覧料
    一般300円 高校・大学生150円 小中学生無料 (11月3日・23日は観覧無料デーです)
    常設展共通券 一般500円 高校・大学生250円


Reading Sima Qian from Han to Song: The Father of History in Pre-Modern China

Hardcover – 25 Oct 2018

  • Hardcover: 420 pages
  • Publisher: BRILL (25 Oct. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004372938

IFather of Chinese History, Esther Klein explores the life and work of the great Han dynasty historian Sima Qian as seen by readers from the Han to the Song dynasties. Today Sima Qian is viewed as both a tragic hero and a literary genius. Premodern responses to him were more equivocal: the complex personal emotions he expressed prompted readers to worry about whether his work as a historian was morally or politically acceptable. Klein demonstrates how controversies over the value and meaning of Sima Qian’s work are intimately bound up with larger questions: How should history be written? What role does individual experience and self-expression play within that process? By what standards can the historian’s choices be judged?

Table of Contents:

  Structure of the Book
  Historians, Lineages, and Confucian Scholars: Good Problems in Translation

Part 1: Contextualization

1 A Record of Doubts and Difficulties
  Sources and Attribution
  Who is the Honorable Senior Historian?
  Autobiography and Authenticity
  Chu Shaosun: A Third Author?
  Extreme Textual Damage and Loss
  A Conclusion Leading Onward
2 Sima Qian’s Place in the Textual World
  Aspects of Self-Description
  Early Views of the Shiji
  The New Historical Tradition
  Sima Qian in the Realm of Literary Prose

Part 2: Autobiographical Readings

3 Subtle Writing and Piercing Satire
  Sources for Sima Qian’s Biography
  Early Autobiographical Readings
  Six Dynasties Developments
  Autobiographical Readings in the Tang
4  Creating and Critiquing a Sima Qian Romance
  A Reversal of Verdicts
  Su Shi’s Gentlemen and the Shiji
  Blaming Emperor Wu
  Backlash: Three Southern Song Critiques

Part 3: Reading Truth in the Shiji

5 A “True Record”
  On the Term “True Record”
  Issues of Historical Truth in the Shiji: Early Views
  Wang Chong and “Real Events” in the Shiji
  Against “Defamatory Text” Readings
  Dangers of “Straight Writing” in the Tang
  Song Dynasty Developments
6 Finding Truths in the Shiji’s Form
  The Overall Form of the Shiji
  Intention and Invention in the Shiji’s Five Sections


Esther Sunkyung Klein, Ph.D. (2010), Princeton University, is a lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney. She has also published on authorship and dating of the Zhuangzi, Wang Chongs epistemology, and ancient Chinese cosmogonies.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Chinese walls Conference this Thursday and Friday in Vienna

Success and Failure of Wall Building in Human History
Conference 18-20 October 2018
University of Vienna, Institute of Art History, Seminar Room 1
Garnisongasse 13, Court 9 (Uni Campus), 1090 Wien


Thursday, October 18
Welcome and Opening address Lukas Nickel and Robert Rollinger

Panel 1, Panel Chair: Eberhard Sauer
Gebhard Selz, Wien,
The Martu-Wall of the UR-III period
11:00 coffee break
Robert Rollinger, Innsbruck,
The Median wall and Xenophon
Lukas Nickel, Wien,
The Qin and Han Great Wall
12:45-14:30 Lunch BreakPanel 2, Panel Chair: Christoph Schäfer
Nicola DiCosmo, Princeton,
The Chinese Wall from a Nomadic Perspective
15:15-16:00Krzysztof Nawotka, Wrocław,The „Gates of Alexander“ and the Caucasian Wall of Derbent
16:00 coffee break16:15-17:15
Discussion (Tim Taylor)
19:00 Conference Dinner (Speakers and Discussants only)

Friday, October 19
Panel 3, 
Panel Chair: Lukas Nickel
Lauren Morris, Freiburg,
The Iron Gate wall in Uzbekistan
Eberhard Sauer et al., Edinburgh,
The Wall of Gorgan
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
Dirk Rupnow, Innsbruck,
The Berlin Wall
11:45-12:30Discussion (Sitta von Reden)
12:30-14:30 Lunch Break
afternoon:Excursion: Roman Vienna(with Andreas Schwarcz, Wien)
Saturday, October 20
Panel 4, 
Panel Chair: Robert Rollinger
9:30-10:15Kai Ruffing, Kassel,The Hadrian ́s Wall
Christoph Schäfer, Trier,
The Rhine and Danube Limes
11:00 Coffee break
Concluding Remarks and Final discussion
(Bert Fragner)


Garnisongasse 13, Universitätscampus Hof 9, 1090 Wien
T: +43-1-4277-41401
F: +43-1-4277-9414

Friday, 12 October 2018

In the Wake of the Mongols: The Making of a New Social Order in North China, 1200- 1600 by Jinping Wang

In the Wake of the Mongols: 

The Making of a New Social Order in North China, 1200-1600 (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series) 

Hardcover – 26 Oct 2018

Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World

Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World 

Hardcover – 9 Feb 2019

Archaeology and Conservation Along the Silk Road

Archaeology and Conservation Along the Silk Road  

Paperback – 3 Nov 2018

Central Asian Cultures, Arts, and Architecture: Inner Eurasia from Prehistory to the Medieval Golden Ages by Ardi Kia

Central Asian Cultures, Arts, and Architecture: 

Inner Eurasia from Prehistory to the Medieval Golden Ages

Hardcover – 15 Dec 2018

Artifacts from the Ancient Silk Road

Artifacts from the Ancient Silk Road 

(Daily Life through Artifacts) 

Hardcover – 28 Feb 2019

Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat by Robert N. Spengler

Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat 

Hardcover – 12 Jun 2019

by Robert N. Spengler 

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (12 Jun. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520303636

The foods we eat have a deep and often surprising past. Many foods we consume today-from almonds and apples to tea and rice-have histories can be traced along the tracks of the Silk Road out of prehistoric Central Asia to European kitchens and American tables. Organized trade along the Silk Road dates to at least Han Dynasty China in the second century B.C., but the exchange of goods, ideas, cultural practices, and genes along these ancient trading routes extends back five thousand years. Balancing a broad array of archaeological, botanical, and historical evidence, Fruit from the Sands presents the fascinating story of the origins and spread of agriculture across Inner Asia and into Europe and East Asia. Through the preserved remains of plants in archaeological sites, Robert N. Spengler III identifies the regions where our most familiar crops were domesticated and follows their routes as people carried them around the world. Vividly narrated, Fruit from the Sands explores how the foods we eat have shaped the course of human history and transformed consumption all over the globe.

Robert N. Spengler III is the Archaeobotany Laboratory Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, a Volkswagen/Mellon Foundations Fellow, and a former Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Archaeologists explore prehistoric ruins in western Tibet

A group of archaeologists are leading field explorations of prehistoric ruins in the high-altitude region of sparsely populated western Tibet.

Over 30 specialists from Tibet and other provinces are leading the field trips in Ngari Prefecture, located 4,500 meters above sea level in the west part of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The experts are from Tibet's regional cultural protection research institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Shaanxi Archaeology Institute, School of History and Culture of Sichuan University, and Northwest University.

The large-scale field explorations, the first of their kind, aim to explore the early civilizations of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, said Shaka Wandu, an assistant researcher with Tibet's regional cultural protection research institute.

Current studies in early civilizations from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, particularly the Shangshung civilizations, are mainly focused on the archives, linguistics, religious and anthropological fields, while archaeological studies are lacking, experts said.

Previous excavation efforts 

showed that Tibet had extensive exchanges with central and southern Asian regions, he said.

The ruins of Tsaparang, the ancient capital of Guge Kingdom, Ngari/Western Tibet [Credit: WikiCommons]

"We aim to expand the plateau archaeology to help us understand the early history of Tibet, particularly the Shangshung culture," he said.

"Most of us know that Tibet's main burial custom is the sky burial, but we discovered that tombs were a very common existence in ancient Tibet," said Zhang Jianlin, a professor with the Shaanxi Archaeology Institute.

In the past 20 years, dozens of tombs were found in the Ngari Prefecture. Numerous artifacts made from bronze, gold, wood and glass beads were unearthed. A gold mask from the second century and pieces of silk and tea from the third century were among the most prominent findings.

The tombs found in Ngari Prefecture date back between 1,500 BC and the fourth century AD. They were built with stones, wooden sheds and through digging pathways and caves beneath the ground, Zhang said.

Findings from the tombs carry information about the lifestyles, production habits, culture, and social exchanges in ancient Tibet.

"For example, we try to understand the burial postures for people in the coffin. By analyzing the bone structures, we try to determine whether the prehistoric residents rode horses or mainly walked and whether the artifacts and grains were locally made or imported," said Zhang.

In July last year, a tomb believed to be the earliest in western Tibet was found at the Gadpa Serrul remains, located in Zada County.

The tomb was built 3,560 and 3,000 years ago. Over 300 relics made from ceramic, stone, bone, copper, iron, wood, glass, shells and leather were found from the area. There were 100 human and animal skeletons, and archaeologists also found charcoal and seeds.

In Tibet, ancient remains are poorly conserved, and field trips are frequently hampered by harsh weather.

"It has been difficult to look for and identify a tomb area because of geological changes over the years, so it may take many years for us to complete the research into the Gadpa Serrul remains," said Shaka Wandu.

The trips are expected to last until September this year if weather permits. In the meantime, laboratory analysis of the findings is being carried out.

Source: Xinhua [August 25, 2018]