Across the Tuyuhun-Tubo Kingdom: Visualizing Material Culture from Dunhuang to Sichuan between the 6th and 9th centuries.


Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies – Long-Term


History of Art and Architecture


Textiles and metalworks from the Tuyuhun-Tubo (Tibetan) tombs in Qinghai have suggested the existence of a southern branch of the main Silk Road between Gansu and Sichuan. These artworks, which also appear depicted in the Dunhuang caves’ mural paintings, are similar to those from Central Asia and north-west China. Despite a few publications on Qinghai textiles, this material has remained hitherto systematically unstudied. I argue that a view from the periphery will provide the key to read the cultural transfer to and from the center (China). The proposed research project sheds new light on the little-recognized Tuyuhun-Tubo art and the southern Silk Road, and the development of the Tibetan empire in the 7th century.