Bronze, Jade, Gold, and Ivory: Valuable Objects in Ancient Sichuan

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Bronze, Jade, Gold, and Ivory: Valuable Objects in Ancient Sichuan

Citable link to this page

 

 
Title: Bronze, Jade, Gold, and Ivory: Valuable Objects in Ancient Sichuan
Author: Flad, Rowan K.
Citation: Flad, Rowan. 2012. Bronze, Jade, Gold, and Ivory: Valuable Objects in Ancient Sichuan. In The Construction of Value in the Ancient World, ed. John K. Papadopoulos and Gary Urton, 306-335. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: If negotiations about value are essentially political (Graeber 2001:115), our understanding of past political systems is illuminated by an understanding of how and through what processes value is attributed to objects in a particular context. We cannot examine this “object value” through a focus on only one attribute or set of attributes, such as scarcity of raw material or labor investment, but instead must consider the intersection of several factors: raw material, labor investment, the identity of producers, the identity of consumers, the divisibility or “commodifiability” of an object, and its capacity to accumulate history. In fact, the value attributed to objects is dynamic and contingent — the consequence of practices of production, use, and discard through an object’s life history. We must therefore consider both the production of objects and their discard in our attempts to discover the relationships between object value and political power. This paper considers this relationship in ancient Sichuan, China, during the late second and early first millennia B.C. By looking at aspects of production, use, and discard of valuable objects at the sites of Sanxingdui and Jinsha, we observe changes in the ways that bronze, jade, gold, and ivory were employed as valuable objects in the context of political and ritual practices.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33927870
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

 
 

Search DASH


Advanced Search
 
 

Submitters