Dian Culture of Yunnan
The Dian culture describes the remains of a wealthy Bronze Age society (late first millennium BCE) excavated in Yunnan, Southwest China. Tens of thousands of grave goods from hilltop cemeteries show that the material culture was that of Southeast Asia, but there are also signs of early interaction with China in the field of metallurgy. Dian was conquered by China’s Han Empire in 109 BCE, and the distinctiveness of its material culture diminished thereafter.
The Dian culture consists of Bronze Age sites and artifacts excavated from burials in the high plain south of modern Kunming. In the absence of skeletal material, most studies are based upon the thousands of bronze artifacts. Their distinctive figural decoration gives important information about social hierarchy and gender relations, as well as about interaction between animals and human.
Key Issues/Current Debates
Physical Setting and Resources
Lake Dian is the northernmost and largest of a set of four lakes...
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