November 2011 Conference

Conference/Conference2011reportEmergence of Bronze Age Societies: A Global Perspective - November 8th to 12th 2011 - Baoji Museum of Bronzes, Shaanxi Province, China

The International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA), Institute of Archaeology, University College London, Peking University and Baoji Municipal People's Government, Shaanxi province, China, invite scholars to participate in the conference Emergence of Bronze Age Societies: A Global Perspective.

The conference aims at enhancing our understanding of the background and development of Bronze Age societies on a global scale. It will trace the beginnings of the use of copper and bronze throughout Eurasia and beyond, and investigate the societies that developed metallurgy. Questions to be raised are: What constitutes a Bronze Age? Which characteristics share early bronze using cultures? Is the use of bronze sufficient to define a Bronze Age society? What kinds of artefacts were predominantly produced? Which technological solutions were found in different bronze-using cultures to source raw materials and to produce alloys and artefacts? What was the role of cross-cultural exchange in the development of Bronze Age societies?

The conference especially seeks to provide a platform for integrating the achievements of Chinese archaeological research on the Bronze Age into a world-wide context. For this reason the conference will be held in Baoji, Shaanxi province, China, where a major bronze producing centre was located 3000 years ago, and where one of the largest collections of bronze artefacts in all of Asia is stored.

The conference will be held from 08 to 12 November 2011. The costs of local accommodation and conference fees will be met by the organisers. Foreign participants are responsible for their travel and visa costs.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 December 2010. Successful candidates are expected to give a talk of 15 minutes and to present a poster of their research during a poster session. Individual posters are welcome as well.

08 to 12 November 2011

Baoji Museum of Bronzes, Shaanxi province, China

Conference languages:
English/Chinese with translation

The conference proceedings will be published as a peer-reviewed volume.

Conference organisers
Lukas Nickel
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
31-34 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PY, UK

Tianjin Xu
The School of Archaeology and Museology
Peking University
5 Yiehyuan Road, Haidian
Beijing, 100871, China

Intended Topics for conference Emergence of Bronze Age Societies: A Global Perspective

Bronze metallurgy and complex societies
Demography, socio economic aspects
Scale of production, specialisation of crafts, workshop organisation
Types of commodities produced
What makes a Bronze Age?

Contacts and trade
Cross-Eurasian/long distance contacts and their role in forming Bronze Age societies
Raw materials and bronze production
Invention, transfer and adaptation of technology and typology
Centre and periphery in metal production and metal use

Origin and development of bronze mining, smelting and alloying
Bronze casting technologies
Other metal working technologies

Bronze and ideology
Bronze and religion, mythology, and social hierarchy
Value, standardisation, and status


For researchers from outside China: Abstracts in English should be sent to
Institute of Archaeology, UCL
31-34 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PY, UK

For researchers from China: Abstracts in Chinese should be sent to
Jianli Chen
The School of Archaeology and Museology
Peking University
5 Yiehyuan Road, Haidian
Beijing, 100871, China