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Archaeological Evidence, Cultural Imagination and Image of the Mediaeval World: New Perspectives on Treasures from Qiuci (Kucha)

Yu Xin (欣 余)

Pages 113 - 152


The Kingdom of Qiuci (now Kucha in Xinjiang) was a key city along the central
east-west route of the Silk Road, providing many unusual treasures. This paper
analyses five of these treasures: the Quzhi pot, Qiuci board, golden glass, the
silver bowl known as Polou (patrōδ) and the Youxian (immortals'
land) pillow. This study of foreign cultures in the medieval Chinese imagination
stands at the intersection of philology, material culture studies and art
history, utilising a range of sources, such as historical records, literary
anecdotes, excavated documents, archeological finds and Chinese rare books.
Treasures from Qiuci constitute one case study of a larger topic that the author
has been grappling with, namely what can be considered as Chinese “natural
history” and concerning China's mediaeval understanding of the world. The
treasures are valuable because they show how foreign treasures, both in material
objects unearthed through modern archaeology, and in the lore and symbolism of
the objects circulating in the medieval Chinese imagination, are a synthesis of
history and myth, of the known and the mysterious.


的翽察ô疚圖將傳統史志、出土文獻、翽古發掘實物緹域外漢籍互相印璷ô綜 合澵用小學、名物翽璷、歷史學ó翽古學ó畢瘀學分析等工具濎瞴會濦式的研
究ô揭示濧些寶物作為異文化符禡的玟徵意義。本文是中國古代博物學整攬構 架中樤於殊方異物研究的一漘分。作翻畳為ô文獻中樤於異物以及出產濧些異



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