Dr Gill Juleff with colleagues at Guizhou Provincial Museum.
Archaeology Strengthens ties with South West China
Exeter archaeometallurgist Gill Juleff last week delivered the first joint international lecture with Prof Yasuyuki Murakami of Ehime University, Japan, at the new Guizhou Provincial Museum in South West China. The lecture meeting, hosted by the director of the museum, Dr Chen Shunxiang, was open to the public and focussed on the development of ancient metallurgical technologies in Central and South Asia.
Exeter University archaeometallurgist Dr Gill Juleff last week delivered the first joint international lecture with Prof Yasuyuki Murakami of Ehime University, Japan, at the new Guizhou Provincial Museum in South West China. The lecture meeting, hosted by the director of the museum, Dr Chen Shunxiang, was open to the public and focussed on the development of ancient metallurgical technologies in Central and South Asia. Prof Murakami presented his fieldwork and research into the earliest iron production evidence from the nomadic Altai cultures of Central Asia, while Dr Juleff presented research into iron and steel-making in India and Sri Lanka and the transmission of technology to SE Asia and Japan. Guizhou Provincial Museum opened in September 2017 and is one of a group of new, state-of-the-art, provincial museums in SW China. The museum averages 2,000 visitors a day and has already passed the 100,000 visitors mark since opening.
The lecture was part of a visit to SW China hosted by Prof Li Yingfu, Vice Chair of School of History & Cultures, Sichuan University. The programme covered the main provinces that make up SW Chin; Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and included visits to ancient copper and tin productions sites at Geiju in Yunnan, the new Yunnan Provincial Museum in Kunming that houses a world renowned collection of Bronze Age Dian Culture bronzes and the mercury mining site of Wanshan, Guizhou, China’s largest historic producer of mercury and cinnabar, the principal ingredient of red lacquer. SW China is a major resource zone and is becoming an important development region connecting China with South and Southeast Asia. Its contribution to the cultural development and spread of metallurgy and technology across SE Asia is a growing area of research led by Sichuan University. The visit concluded with a series of lectures in Chengdu by Dr Juleff on Theory and Methods in Archaeometallurgy for graduate students at Sichuan University.
The archaeology department at Exeter has established a partnership with the School of History and Cultures at Sichuan University and over recent years has hosted a visit to Exeter by Prof Yingfu Li, as well as funded an international PhD studentship to research early iron technology in SW China. The department is currently hosting a further visiting scholar, Ms Mengyi Zhang, from Sichuan University. Over the last three years Sichuan University has offered funded places for Exeter humanities undergraduate students on its annual summer International University Immersion Programme (UIP). Students have joined others from around the world to visit museums and cultural sites, including Chengdu’s famous Panda Centre, as well as receive lectures on history and archaeology from Chinese and international academics, including staff from the Archaeology department at Exeter. A further four places will be offered for the 2018 UIP.
Date: 18 December 2017