Archaeology and Antiquarianism in China

  • Phillip GrimbergEmail author
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3363-2

Introduction

Antiquarianism has long been intertwined with historical and historiographical narratives in China and can be understood as an attempt to bridge the divide between the present and the past through written and material sources. Harking back to the primal stages of dynastic rule in China, history and historiography played a vital role in political and philosophical thought and speculation. Thus, a concern for ancient artifacts and the material residues of the past to undergird historical scholarship has formed an integral part of Chinese historical thought.

Although we can find traces of collecting and proto-antiquarian pursuits from as early as the Han 漢 dynasty (206 BCE-220) – with a first apogee during the years of the Wang Mang 王莽 (r. 9–23) interregnum (Falkenhausen 2013) and another crucial period during the Tang dynasty (618–906) in which the preoccupation with the material remains of the past facilitated the development of an interest in antiquarian studies that laid...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chinese StudiesFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anke Hein
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK