Colonial developments in a global context- complex connectivity in the Western Zhou world

Author(s): Yitzchak Jaffe

Year: 2015


The period of Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) is often considered the genesis of Chinese civilization. As the Zhou expanded their borders and influence they developed a Chinese political tradition that would eventually formalize and consolidate the elite culture and practices of this emerging world. While Postcolonialism theory has been successful in highlighting the multi-directionality of regional interactions in the ancient world, Globalization offers a wider approach, geographically and temporally, that is most beneficial for cases of colonial contact among larger scale processes of supra-regional developments.

The state of Yan 燕 - an important polity established by the Zhou - provides a case study for this new perspective on Western Zhou expansion: The bronzes found in the realm attributed to the Yan polity, are shown to have been locally used in a variety of ways that reflect a continued incorporation of Zhou material culture into indigenous communities, rather than the expansion of the Zhou power and the subsequent assimilation of local peoples. More than just a unique period of colonization, this paper finds the Western Zhou influence to represent an increased stage of interaction and connectivity within the larger process of globalization that preceded it.

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Colonial developments in a global context- complex connectivity in the Western Zhou world. Yitzchak Jaffe. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397806)

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min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;