Hunting and Rituals: Treasures from the Ancient Dian Kingdom of Yunnan

Yi Xuezhong; Fan Haitao; Wang Liming; Zhan Qiyou; Wang Yongsheng; Yang Fan; Huang Ying; Zhang Xinning; Jiang Zhilong; Li Xiaofan; Mei Liqiong

Catalogue from the exhibition "Hunting and Rituals: Treasures from the Ancient Dian Kingdom of Yunnan", a selection of 118 bronze relics from the Yunnan Provincial Museum's collection, giving a glimpse of the kingdom's material culture, everyday life, military and religious activities, and arts and crafts.

Dian was established in southwestern China - the Dianchi area of Yunnan today - and continued for more than 500 years. It reached its peak development from the Warring States period (475-221 BC) to the Western Han dynasty (206 BC-25 AD). The kingdom then started to decline and was eventually absorbed by the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220). Because the kingdom had no written language, and ancient historical records contain incomplete accounts, very little is known about Dian. However, from 1995 extensive excavations of Dian burial sites led to a series of important discoveries, including the gold seal of the Dian king and over 10,000 bronze objects. The discoveries vividly outline different facets of the ancient Dian culture. The unearthed relics show that agriculture was quite developed and hunting was common. Many bronze pieces are decorated with scenes depicting deer hunters on horseback or men fighting animals with their bare hands. The Dian way of life was very colourful. A culture with exotic ethnic costumes, jewellery, architecture and traditions, the Dian kingdom was a vivid example of repetitive exchanges among and integration of diverse tribal cultures. Among the 118 relics on display, 21 are classified as First Class National Treasures, including the only intact bronze coffin from the Chinese Bronze Age, a realistically portrayed bronze table with tiger and oxen figurines, a jade costume of the Dian king and a bronze house model complete with human figurines.

Published by Hong Kong Museum of History, 2004 | Paperback

  • Language: English and Chinese
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9627039527
  • 23.2 x 30.2 cm
  • 207 pages
  • Book Condition: Minor signs of wear on the exterior. Edgeword. Interior as new.
  • £60.00 (+ shipping)
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