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The Ancient Highlands of Southwest ChinaFrom the Bronze Age to the Han Empire$
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Alice Yao

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367344

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367344.001.0001

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A Divided and Entangled Imperial Frontier

A Divided and Entangled Imperial Frontier

(p.167) Chapter 6 A Divided and Entangled Imperial Frontier
The Ancient Highlands of Southwest China

Alice Yao

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines the imperial conquest of the region from the perspective of Mimo and Dian subjects living in what is now a Han province of Yizhou. Situating imperial rupture in relation to the two Bronze Age precedents of mound building and drum possession, the fate of drum-owning kings is addressed. The Han relocation of communities detected in the settlement archaeology had impacted the cycles of funerary ritual. In spite of community fragmentation and the violence of relocation, funerary landscapes, however vulnerable, were neither forgotten nor destroyed. Identified by Chinese seals and resplendent with metropolitan luxuries, chiefly interments continue to be placed on hilltops and mounds and are also accompanied by fragments of bronze drums. Emulative and anachronistic at the same time, these acts reflect deliberations by the living on their generational horizons, as well as the updating of a marked and imperfect past carrying the momentum of prehistory into history.

Keywords:   Dian kings, Han conquest, Yi province, frontier, imperial settlements

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