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Title: The Zhou identity : its construction, perception and development in the early Western Zhou (1045-978 B.C.)
Author: Cheng, Alice Yu
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 5593
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis investigates how the collective "Zhou identity" was formulated and experienced by various groups of people living in the Zhou territory at the beginning of the Western Zhou period, from the reign of King Wu to King Kang (1045-978 B.C.). It examines a wide range of archaeological materials including bronze ritual vessels, bronze weapons and ceramics from sites either under the Zhou court's direct control, or those whose occupants had political ties with the court. It analyzes and presents the data using distribution maps, quantitative tables and inventories, as well as visual analyses. The Zhou identity is the individuals' experience of participating in the Zhou military, ritual and dietary system so that the individuals project themselves as an integral part of those systems. In examining the Zhou identity, two main questions are addressed. First, what policies did the Zhou court of the early Western Zhou period initiate to establish and promote a Zhou identity? Second, how effective were these policies? The central court established a royal Zhou military, ritual and dietary system, requiring participants to use the same weapon to fight in the same way, and to use the same ritual set to perform rituals in the same way, as well as to use the same ceramic set to cook and eat in the same way. When inhabitants join these systems, they would visually and behaviorally become a Zhou member, therefore experiencing and embodying the Zhou identity in the military, ritual or dietary context. However, these measures of the Zhou court were not entirely effective; many did not participate, or engage fully, in some or all of the new systems. Their experience of the Zhou identity was situational, contextual and not permanent.
Supervisor: Rawson, Jessica Sponsor: Merton College ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available