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Current professional archeological practice is to name early cultures using the names of obscure villages where archeologists dug; so we have ‘Erlitou’, ‘Siwa’, ‘Xiajiadian’ and the like. Meanwhile, collectors like to stick to Chinese traditional dynastic names such as ‘Zhou’, ‘Spring and Autumn’ or ‘Warring States’. One tradition robs objects of all historical narrative while the other imbues them with a romance that might be far from the truth.

Stephen Selby will try to provide a narrative outside traditional historical romance, tracing the environments, sociology and politics of the societies in which bronze technology developed and spread in East Asia. He will discuss question such as climate, ecology, population and social groupings. He will illustrate his talk with items partly from his own collection and partly from others.

Stephen Selby holds an MA (Hons) Degree in Chinese from Edinburgh University. He has worked in Hong Kong for forty years, during which period he has pursued his interest in Chinese language and culture, and has published a number of articles on Chinese culture, history and traditional law. With a keen interest in Asiatic archery, he has done research in China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. He is the founder of the Asian Traditional Archery Research Network (ATARN), and is the author of Chinese Archery.

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