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China’s “Southwest”, of course, being what we know as Southeast Asia, particularly mainland Southeast Asia. A public lecture by Dr Robert Murowchick of the International Center for East Asian Archaeology & Cultural History, Boston University to be presented at the National Library of Singapore.

Ancient China’s Back Door: Explorations in the Archaeology of the “Southwestern Barbarians”

Speaker: Dr.Robert Murowchick, Research Associate Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology
(International Center for East Asian Archaeology & Cultural History, Boston University)

Date/Time: Wed, 21 Mar 07, 7.00pm-9.00pm
Venue: Level 5, Possibility Room

Admission is FREE but registration is required. Please register before 5pm on Tue, 20 Mar 2007, by emailing and to include “Lecture by Dr Murowchick” in the subject field. Places are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first serve basis.

While “Chinese” archaeology has largely focused on the Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of the North China Plain and their neighbors, less well known archaeological research was developing in China’s far southwest, influenced not so much by the scholarship of the North China Plain as by discoveries in Southeast Asia. This lecture will present the ongoing archaeological research into the Shizhaishan Culture (also known as the Dian/Tien Culture), best known for its prodigious production of bronze drums and for its spectacularly detailed bronze containers, weapons, and buckles. Enormously exciting new finds of preserved lacquer add new dimensions to this culture, and to our understanding of ancient Yunnan as a place of intersection linking the diverse cultures of a much broader region.

Speaker Biodata:
Dr. Murowchick is Director of the newly-established International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History (ICEAACH) at Boston University, where he also serves as Research Associate Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology.

He is one of the founding editors of the new Journal of East Asian Archaeology (JEAA) which is edited at BU and published by Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden. He is also an Associate in East Asian Archaeology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

Dr. Murowchick served as the Associate Director of Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning from 1990-1992, and concurrently as Associate Director of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and of the National Resource Center for East Asian Studies from 1992-1996.

He is married with two sons, and resides in Needham, Massachusetts, where he serves on the Steering Committee for the Asian Studies Curriculum for the Needham Public Schools.

Click here for his detailed CV.

Related Books:
Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History by P. S. Bellwood and I. Glover (Eds)
Early Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham

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