Between Control and Influence - Early Globalization processes in Bronze Age China

Author(s): Yitzchak Jaffe

Year: 2017


The traditional narrative of the Zhou expansion (1046-771 BCE, roughly 800 before the formation of the first Chinese empire in 221 BCE), has been to view it as a military enlargement and conquest and as leading, consequently, to the establishment of a polity controlling a large territorial state.

To date, most studies have viewed the finding of Zhou artifacts in a given region as indicating Zhou political control over that area or even that actual Zhou people inhabited the region. This paper argues that the Zhou expansion must be investigated in a contextual manner to evaluate the regional-specific cases of cultural exchange and the process through which it created new forms of localized social identities.

Globalization offers a model that focuses less on an all-powerful center dominating a periphery. Instead, it is the natural process by which the creation of new forms of connectivity, entanglements and cultural practices emerge from supra local interaction. This approach not only gets away from problematic models that identify material culture with specific ethnic groups, but also renounces power dynamics that conflate control with material assemblages.

Cite this Record

Between Control and Influence - Early Globalization processes in Bronze Age China. Yitzchak Jaffe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430771)


China globalization Zhou

Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13259