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Centre-led Research Projects
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Centre-led Research Projects


European Celtic Art in Context
Prof. Chris Gosden (PI), Drs Courtney Nimura and Peter Hommel

The ECAIC project explores the dynamic traditions of representation that emerged in central and northern Europe around 500 BC. Commonly referred to as 'Celtic Art', these traditions can be distinguished from more realistic, narrative styles of art which emerge in the Classical world at around the same time.
If changes in artistic preference can be seen as a proxy for broader changes in social philosophy, cosmology, and self-perception, then an exploration of these differences is potentially productive. Taking a broader view, the project also considers the wider continental context of Celtic Art its possible relationships with early Animal Style Art in the Eurasian steppe.

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The Flow of Ancient Metal across Eurasia (FLAME)
Prof. Mark Pollard (PI), Drs Peter Bray, Peter Hommel, Laura Perucchetti, Ruiliang Liu and Yiu-Kang Hsu

The FLAME (Flow of Ancient Metal across Eurasia) is a European Research Council funded project led by Professor Mark Pollard of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art (RLAHA) at the University of Oxford. It sets out to investigate the movement, exchange, and transformation of metal in Eurasian societies during the Bronze and Early Iron Age.

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China and Inner Asia: Interactions that Changed China (1000–200 BC)
Prof. Dame Jessica Rawson (PI) and Dr Peter Hommel

This 5-year Leverhulme Trust funded project (2011-2016), explores how the incorporation of such foreign materials, technologies and ideas into the repertoire of an early dynastic elite both marked and stimulated social changes across ancient China.
The societies that grew up within the sparsely-populated steppe and semi-desert environments that bordered the fertile Central Plain of the Yellow River Basin played a critical mediating role in these transformations and are a major focus of investigation in this project.

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Associated Research Projects


Testing the Metal: New research into ancient Indian copper
Dr Wendy Morrison (PI)

A British Academy funded collaborative investigation of Harrappan metallurgy with the National Museum Institute (Delhi), Deccan College (Pune), and NIAS (Bangalore).

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Publication Stream


Y. Hsu, P. J. Bray, P. Hommel, A. M. Pollard and J. Rawson, 2016, Tracing the flows of copper and copper alloys in the Early Iron Age societies of the eastern Eurasian steppe, Antiquity, 90, pp. 357–375. [pdf] [doi]

A. Hein, 2016, Local developments on the Eastern Rim of the Tibetan Plateau: The prehistoric Anning River Valley, Archaeological Research in Asia, 5, pp. 72–87. [pdf] [doi]

A. W. Weber, R. J. Schulting, C. B. Ramsey, V. I. Bazaliiskii, O. I. Goriunova and E. B. Natal'ia, 2016, Chronology of middle Holocene hunter–gatherers in the Cis-Baikal region of Siberia: Corrections based on examination of the freshwater reservoir effect, Quaternary International. [pdf]

A. W. Weber, R. J. Schulting, C. B. Ramsey and V. I. Bazaliiskii, 2016, Biogeochemical data from the Shamanka II Early Neolithic cemetery on southwest Baikal: chronological and dietary patterns, Quaternary International, 405, pp. 233–254. [pdf]

P. Jordan, K. Gibbs, P. Hommel, H. Piezonka, F. Silva and J. Steele, 2016, Modelling the diffusion of pottery technologies across Afro-Eurasia: emerging insights and future research., Antiquity, 90. [pdf]

A. Hein, 2016, The problem of typology in Chinese archaeology, Early China, pp. 1–32. [pdf]

A. Hein, D. Zhao, 2016, The cultural other and the nearest neighbor: Han–Nuosu relations in Zhaojue County, Southwest China, Asian Ethnicity, 17, pp. 273–293. [pdf]

R. Liu, P. Bray, A. M. Pollard and P. Hommel, 2015, Chemical analysis of ancient Chinese copper-based objects: Past, present and future, Archaeological Research in Asia, 3, pp. 1–8. [pdf] [doi]

P. Bray, A. Cuénod, C. Gosden, P. Hommel, R. Liu and A. M. Pollard, 2015, Form and flow: the ‘karmic cycle’ of copper, Journal of Archaeological Science, 56, pp. 202–209. [pdf] [doi]

R. J. Schulting, C. B. Ramsey, V. I. Bazaliiskii and A. Weber, 2015, Highly Variable Freshwater Reservoir Offsets Found along the Upper Lena Watershed, Cis-Baikal, Southeast Siberia, Radiocarbon, 57, pp. 581–593. [pdf]

J. A. d. Guedes, H. Lu, A. M. Hein and A. H. Schmidt, 2015, Early evidence for the use of wheat and barley as staple crops on the margins of the Tibetan Plateau, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, pp. 5625–5630. [pdf]

A. M. Hein, 2014, Interregional contacts and geographic preconditions in the prehistoric Liangshan region, Southwest China, Quaternary International, 348, pp. 194–213. [pdf] [doi]

R. J. Schulting, C. B. Ramsey, V. I. Bazaliiskii, O. I. Goriunova and A. Weber, 2014, Freshwater Reservoir Offsets Investigated Through Paired Human-Faunal 14C Dating and Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis at Lake Baikal, Siberia., Radiocarbon, 56. [pdf]

C. B. Ramsey, R. Schulting, O. I. Goriunova, V. I. Bazaliiskii and A. W. Weber, 2014, Analyzing radiocarbon reservoir offsets through stable nitrogen isotopes and Bayesian modeling: a case study using paired human and faunal remains from the Cis-Baikal region, Siberia, Radiocarbon, 56, pp. 789–799. [pdf]

A. R. Lieverse, I. V. Pratt, R. J. Schulting, D. M. L. Cooper, V. I. Bazaliiskii and A. W. Weber, 2014, Point taken: An unusual case of incisor agenesis and mandibular trauma in Early Bronze Age Siberia, International Journal of Paleopathology, 6, pp. 53–59. [pdf]

P. Hommel, M. Sax, 2014, Shifting materials: variability, homogeneity and change in the beaded ornaments of the Western Zhou, Antiquity, 88, pp. 1213–1228. [pdf]

P. Hommel, 2014, "Ceramic Technology", in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers, V. Cummings, P. Jordan, Eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

S. V. Svyatko et al., 2013, Stable isotope dietary analysis of prehistoric populations from the Minusinsk Basin, Southern Siberia, Russia: a new chronological framework for the introduction of millet to the eastern Eurasian steppe, Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, pp. 3936–3945. [pdf]

R. J. Schulting, M. P. Richards, 2013, Stable isotope analysis of Neolithic to Late Bronze Age populations in the Samara Valley, The Samara Valley Project: a Bronze Age Landscape in the Russian Steppes (American School of Prehistoric Research). Harvard University Press, Massachusetts (forthcoming).

J. Rawson, 2013, Ordering the exotic: ritual practices in the late western and early eastern Zhou, Artibus Asiae, 73, pp. 5–76. [pdf]

A. M. Pollard, H. Davoudi, I. Mostafapour, H. R. Valipour and H. Fazeli Nashli, 2013, A new radiocarbon chronology for the Late Neolithic to Iron Age in the Qazvin Plain, Iran, The International Journal of Humanities, 19, pp. 110–151. [pdf]

E. M. Murphy, R. Schulting, N. Beer, Y. Chistov, A. Kasparov and M. Pshenitsyna, 2013, Iron Age pastoral nomadism and agriculture in the eastern Eurasian steppe: implications from dental palaeopathology and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, pp. 2547–2560. [pdf]

M. Hadian, I. Good and A. M. Pollard, 2013, Textiles from Douzlakh Salt Mine at Chehr Abad, Iran: A Technical and Contextual Study of Late pre-Islamic Iranian Textiles, The International Journal of Humanities, 19.

J. Rawson, 2012, Inside out: Creating the exotic within early Tang dynasty China in the seventh and eighth centuries, World Art, 2, pp. 25–45. [pdf]

T. O. Pryce, M. Pollard, M. Martinón-Torres, V. C. Pigott and E. Pernicka, 2011, Southeast Asia's first isotopically defined prehistoric copper production system: when did extractive metallurgy begin in the Khao Wong Prachan Valley of Central Thailand?, Archaeometry, 53, pp. 146–163. [pdf]

T. O. Pryce et al., 2011, Isotopic and technological variation in prehistoric Southeast Asian primary copper production, Journal of Archaeological Science, 38, pp. 3309–3322. [pdf]

R. Wen, C. S. Wang, Z. W. Mao, Y. Y. Huang and A. M. Pollard, 2007, The chemical composition of blue pigment on chinese blue-and-white porcelain of the yuan and ming dynasties (AD 1271-1644), Archaeometry, 49, pp. 101–115. [pdf]