Theses Doctoral

On the Periphery of a Great "Empire": Secondary Formation of States and Their Material Basis in the Shandong Peninsula during the Late Bronze Age, ca. 1000-500 B.C.E

Wu, Minna

The Shandong region has been of considerable interest to the study of ancient China due to its location in the eastern periphery of the central culture. For the Western Zhou state, Shandong was the "Far East" and it was a vast region of diverse landscape and complex cultural traditions during the Late Bronze-Age (1000-500 BCE). In this research, the developmental trajectories of three different types of secondary states are examined. The first type is the regional states established by the Zhou court; the second type is the indigenous Non-Zhou states with Dong Yi origins; the third type is the states that may have been formerly Shang polities and accepted Zhou rule after the Zhou conquest of Shang. On the one hand, this dissertation examines the dynamic social and cultural process in the eastern periphery in relation to the expansion and colonization of the Western Zhou state; on the other hand, it emphasizes the agency of the periphery during the formation of secondary states by examining how the polities in the periphery responded to the advances of the Western Zhou state and how local traditions impacted the composition of the local material assemblage which lay the foundation for the future prosperity of the regional culture. By utilizing the rich archaeological data, epigraphic evidence and textual sources, the dissertation focuses on two research questions: First, how did cultural interactions play out in the region through possible processes of cultural adaption, assimilation, persistence, and resistance, and what are their material manifestations in the archaeological record? Second, how did the political relationship between the peripheral states and the dynastic center change in variable degrees of dependency or autonomy? This study provides important insight into the issue of cultural interaction and secondary state formation and, by extension, into the social evolution of the Shandong area.



  • thumnail for Wu_columbia_0054D_11703.pdf Wu_columbia_0054D_11703.pdf application/pdf 5.85 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Thesis Advisors
Li, Feng
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 31, 2013