This lecture was given at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 2018. It previews what would become the final chapter of my book Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture. The talk introduces the concept of the multi-component soul in each civilization and the representations of a paradisiacal realm where part of that soul could reside. Visual representations include paintings on tomb walls, coffins, stone carvings, pictorial bricks, and portable objects. The last part of the talk introduces the notion of “games of fate,” boardgames and associated rituals that could assist one in gaining access to paradise.
In this talk, I look at the regional styles in both decorative and figural lacquer painting during the Han period, and explore whether contemporary artists and patrons were consciously aware of these distinctions and how they labeled and navigated these different styles.
This lecture explores the preliminary results of one of my new projects that will look at patterns of diffusion and adaptation of objects, images, and technologies over the long course of four millennia of Eurasian prehistory and history. This talk looks specifically at the glass eye-bead, Chinese figured silks, Roman silver plate, and the Ionic capital. Click HERE for the lecture page for this and other lectures.
This lecture was given in Montreal in 2017 and previews the final chapter of my forthcoming book, The Many Lives of the First Emperor of China (University of Washington Press, 2022). The talk looks at different imaginings of what might be held in the First Emperor’s unexcavated tomb, by historians, poets, artists, archaeologists, and movie and video game designers. Click Here for the Lectures Page