Institute of Archaeology


Materialising Empire in Ancient Rome and Han China

9 April 2018

The UCL Institute of Archaeology and International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA) are co-organisers of an international conference being held in China this week.

Materialising Empire in Ancient Rome and Han China (conference poster)

The purpose of the Materialising Empires in Ancient Rome and Han China conference, hosted by Peking University and taking place over three days, is to develop comparative discussions of the archaeologies of the Roman and early Chinese empires, by bringing together specialists in the archaeology and material culture of both traditions.

The event comprises of ten sessions of paired papers, addressing specific topics grouped under five broad themes, where a focus on material culture, and the distinctive evidence and perspectives afforded by archaeology, might particularly lend themselves to exploring the ways in which the development of empires not only shaped the distinctive material cultural traditions of the two empires but may also have been shaped by them.


  • Communication - with sessions on Transportation Networks and Imperial Integration and Archaeologies of Writing in Imperial Contexts
  • Money Trade and Economies - with sessions on Archaeologies of Coinage and Archaeologies of Exchange
  • Empire, Urbanism and Transformations in Craft Production - with sessions on Empire and Transformations in craft production and Empire and Urbanism
  • Materialising Imperial Ideologies - with sessions on Art and Empire and Cult, Religion and Empire: Archaeologies of Religion
  • Centre and Periphery: Imperial Integration and its Limits - with sessions on Empires and their boundaries: the Archaeology of Frontiers and Imperial Power and its Limits

Further details