Colloquium Series 2023-24: Li Jaang

When and Where

Friday, November 24, 2023 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Anthropology Building
19 Ursula Franklin Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2S2


Li Jaang


What was Erlitou? The political landscape of Early Bronze Age China in an Eurasian contexts

Recent years have brought to light a series of archaeological breakthroughs in China and Inner Asia. These new discoveries not only reveal the active participation of early China in the Bronze Age Eurasian network but also highlight the imperative for a moreprofound understanding of the political landscape during that time. By synthesizingthe most up-to-date archaeological data, this talk aims to demonstrate that a majorcollapse, starting around 2000 BC, occurred in lowland states in China. This collapse laid the foundation for the establishment of the Erlitou secondary state (1900–1500BC). The talk will explore the political, economic, and ritual practices that contributed to the making of the Erlitou secondary state, examining how these dynamics interacted. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of the Upland polities and societies, particularly Shimao and the Ejin River Transfer Zone, in this process. Taking an "order andlegitimacy" perspective, the talk will highlight that the Erlitou secondary state indeed pioneered a new sociopolitical order. Additionally, preliminary comparisons with Anatolian Bronze Age polities will be included in this presentation. 


Attend this event in person in AP246 or join us through Zoom!

Contact Information


19 Ursula Franklin Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2S2