Casting Technology and Craft Production of Bronze Vessels in the Central Plains of China in Late Shang Dynasty


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


Institute of Archaeology


the USA


This project analyzes the casting technology of bronzes excavated from Yinxu, especially those newly unearthed, as well as those collected in the Museums of North America. It reconstructs the whole production process, including the choice and processing of clay material; the design and making of the mold assembly; the melting, alloying, and pouring of alloy; and the polishing and finishing work. It determines the relationship between pottery and bronze crafts and pursues the origin and evolution of casting technology of Yinxu bronzes, leading to a deep comprehension of casting technology, craft production and management, and the influence on society. Investigations of US museum collections will provide a thorough understanding of late Shang Dynasty bronzes, and active collaborative research and learning at Boston University teach me the anthropological and archaeological theories and methods necessary for further work on material culture and technology on the evolution of metal technology in China.