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Understanding Chinese jade in a world context

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Elsley Zeitlyn Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Culture, delivered by Professor Gina Barnes, on 2 February 2017 (venue: The British Academy).

Speaker: Professor Gina Barnes, SOAS, University of London

Chaired by: Professor Craig Clunas FBA, University of Oxford

Jades were as desirable and treasured in the ancient past as they are valuable and sought after in today’s world. However, is our focus on ‘pure jades’ obscuring knowledge of differential valuations and uses of the many rocks and minerals historically functioning as jade? Is our denigration of these substances preventing a holistic approach to the mining, production, distribution and use of jade through time? There are solid Earth science reasons governing their source locations and why certain combinations of rocks and minerals occur in the archaeological record as jade.

About the speaker:
Professor Gina Barnes is the Founder of the Society for East Asian Archaeology, and author of the textbook Archaeology of East Asia: the rise of civilization in China, Korea and Japan, among 90 other works.  She is retired from lecturing at Cambridge and Durham Universities.

More about the Elsley Zeitlyn Lectures on Chinese Archaeology and Culture