[UK Exhibition] Search for Immortality

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China featuring 350 artefacts of jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics, is the latest exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The Han Dynasty established the basis for unified rule of China up to the present day. Dr Timothy Potts, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, commented: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Han Dynasty in the formation of a Chinese national culture and identity.  At the time of the ancient Romans, the Han emperors were the first to unify a large part of the regions we now know as China under a sustained empire, which they ruled virtually unchallenged for 400 years.’

 ‘The Han Dynasty gave its name to the Chinese language, its script and the vast majority of the Chinese people.  It was arguably the defining period of China’s history and the point of genesis for the China of today.’

For the very first time, visitors to the exhibition are able to compare the spectacular tombs of two rival power factions: the Han imperial family in the northern ‘cradle’ of Chinese history, and the Kingdom of Nanyue in the south, whose capital in modern-day Guangzhou formed the gateway to the rich trade routes of the China Sea and Indian Ocean. Through the exhibition it is revealed how, in both life and in death, Empire and Kingdom played a diplomatic game  – one to assert its supremacy, the other to preserve its autonomy.

For more information: http://www.cam.ac.uk/the search for immortality

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