The Establishment of Exchange Networks of Prestige Goods and Sacred Knowledge and the Formation of the "Chinese Interaction Sphere" at around 3300 BC


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Study and Research Fellowships (East and Southeast Asia)


Prehistory Department


The "Chinese interaction sphere" is a model adopted by K. C. Chang to describe the close relationship among different regional cultures in China that developed in the fourth millennium Be. The establishment of exchange networks of prestige goods and sacred knowledge has long been regarded as one of the most important leadership-strategies in complex societies. My research, which incorporates the most recent archaeological discoveries in China and the theories of exchange networks, aims to describe the emergence of exchange networks of prestige goods and sacred knowledge at around 3300 BC in eastern China and explore the implication of the exchange networks to the formation of the "Chinese interaction sphere". The results of characterization analyses, reconstruction of manufacturing techniques and pictorial symbol analyses will be combined with typological data to reconstruct exchange networks of raw material, finished goods and sacred knowledge mainly including special manufacturing techniques and ancient cosmology. The crucial role that the exchange network played during the formation of "Chinese interaction sphere" will be comprehensively discussed. Hence the research is an effort to refine the "Chinese interaction sphere" model with the latest archaeological discoveries and a new theoretical perspective.