Preparation of a Manuscript for a Book Series on Important Bronze Inscriptions of the Western Zhou Dynasty 西周重器銘文ɪ釋叢書

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Shang (16th-11th cent. BC) and Zhou (1045?-221 BC) dynasties, the heyday of Bronze Age China, have grown increasingly vivid to scholars in the past several decades due to the excavation of many important bronze vessels, in addition to the more than 10,000 inscribed bronzes already extant. All these bronzes provide us with concrete accounts and direct information about critical events in early China. However, the inscribed bronzes also pose endless challenges to our understanding of the remote past in terms of the divergence in readings of inscriptional characters, interpretation of the contexts, attribution of the donors, and chronology of their production. Scholars have contributed a tremendous scholarly literature analyzing these bronze objects and the contents of these inscriptions. This research has been published in various different sources and media around the world, and hence made difficult to locate. Although there
are a number of publications dealing with the diverse readings of certain major bronze inscriptions (See references), many of them need to be updated to include more recent studies, and some of the most important objects have never been treated comprehensively.

There is an urgent need for a series of books to synthesize the research on important inscribed bronzes to date. To satisfy this need, this project purports to organize a number of international scholars who specialize in bronze inscriptions and paleography to collaborate in the compilation of book manuscripts, each treating one or one group of important bronze vessels. Aiming to deal eventually with most of the important inscribed bronzes, this project, which comprises about 15 volumes with treatment of approximately 20 odd pieces dated to the Western Zhou, is merely the first stage, and we hope that it will provide a sound base and an authoritative reference for international research on Zhou history. The obvious significance of this project has attracted interest of three prestigious publishers in China, namely Shanghai Renmin (上海人民)、Shanghai Guji(上海古籍)and Zhongxi Shuju(中西書局).

As PI, I would conceive my roles in the proposed project as follows:
1. Organizing a team of international specialists on bronze inscriptions and
coordinating with researchers to work on different bronze objects.
2. Designing the formats, patterns and styles of the book manuscripts with Co-I and other compilers.
3. Compiling or co-authoring one or two of the book manuscripts in the series.
4. Finalizing the manuscripts by other authors and refining them to be ready for
Effective start/end date1/09/1328/02/17


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