Han Material Culture is an analysis of Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) Chinese archaeology based on a comparison of the forms of vessels found in positively dated tombs. The resultant chronological framework allows for the cross dating of tombs across China, of which approximately one thousand are documented here. In the context of this body of data, the development of not only vessel types but also tomb structure and decor is reevaluated, together with the pervasive intercultural exchange visible in all areas of this material. The Han dynasty emerges as a creative, surprisingly open society, heir to the Bronze Age and herald of what might be called the Age of Ceramics.
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