Excavating China's First Archaeologist


Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowships


East Asian Studies / Art History and Communication Studies


Excavating China’s First Archaeologist is a comprehensive examination of a recently discovered cemetery in China that contains the eleventh century remains of the important antiquarian scholar Lü Dalin and nearly thirty other members of his clan. By comparing the ritual remains preserved in the cemetery to Lü’s philosophical writings about ritual and the ceremonial standards promulgated by the imperial court, the project traces the processes by which individual ideas and state institutions influenced and integrated local cultural practices during the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). In so doing, it uses microhistory to reconfigure assumptions about the social, economic, and intellectual transformations typically associated with this epochal turning point in Chinese history.