Of kings and artisans: Comparing household and palace-temple rituals at Yanshi Shangcheng

Author(s): Katrinka Reinhart

Year: 2015


Elite ritual has been a primary focus in Chinese archaeology. Well known studies of the oracle bones from Anyang and bronze ritual vessels have shed light on elite ritual practices but have also generated a bias linking ritual with elites. Indeed there is strong evidence of elite ritual activity in palace temples of the early Bronze Age site of Yanshi Shangcheng (the Shang city at Yanshi), located in the Central Plain area of northern China. However, there is also evidence of similar rituals in domestic contexts of an artisan’s neighborhood. This calls into question the idea that elites monopolized access to ritual power. In this paper, I will compare these two contexts, explore the relationship between ritual and power, and raise questions about ritual, social status, and agency.

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Of kings and artisans: Comparing household and palace-temple rituals at Yanshi Shangcheng. Katrinka Reinhart. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398099)

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Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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