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Deciphering a Treasure of the Silk Road: Complexity as the Key in Identification of the Ordos Seals
Start Date: 10/10/2017Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Date: 10/10/2017End Time: 9:30 PM

Event Description
Andrea J. Chen, Research Fellow, University Museum and Art Gallery
University of Hong Kong

The Mongolian Nestorians were a mysterious group of people who embraced Christianity under the influence of the Church of the East, as it was disseminated along the Silk Road. Notwithstanding the fact that their material tradition is highly valued as representative of the Silk Road material history, the study of this subject has remained relatively stagnant, because artefacts in this category have been considered insufficient. Yet there are thousands of so-called Nestorian Crosses (or Nestorian Seals) existing globally, waiting for systematic identification and interpretation. Thus, the current concern would be: 1) Do all these artefacts belong to the authentic cultural heritage of Mongolian Nestorians? 2) Can we find any existing study of Mongolian Nestorianism, or Jingjiao (Chinese Nestorianism), to support the identification? And 3) if some of them are proved to be pertinent, would this discovery benefit, and in what way, the hitherto under-developed study of this field?

This lecture, based on the above notes, will firstly provide a comprehensive introduction to Mongolian Nestorianism, Jingjiao, and their material culture. Secondly, it will screen some representative samples from the Nixon collection of the so-called Nestorian Seals, which is the largest collection of this kind in the world. With these samples, it will introduce laboratory results from recently conducted XRF examinations, as the most important archaeological evidence showing that the complexity of the collection should not be underestimated. On the contrary, it could be critical to the identification of the objects. And last but not least, this lecture will suggest for the first time, a new name for the bronzes, as “Ordos Seals” and give reasons for the naming.
Location Information:
*WU Campus - Hatfield Library  (View Map)
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-370-6300
Room: Hatfield Room
Contact Information:
Name: Reyna Meyers
Phone: 503-370-6615
Email: rmeyers@willamette.edu
Admission / Ticket Info:
This event is free and open to the public
Event Sponsor(s):
The Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology and
the Religious Studies department

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