The Research Centre for History and Culture (RCHC) hosted a bilingual English-Chinese online conference “Bronze Age Civilizations” in March. This international event was supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at Beijing Normal University (BNU) and the General Education Office of Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC). Professional English-Chinese interpretation was provided for those attendants who preferred to follow the presentations in Mandarin.
The conference featured presentations by 15 scholars from China and various institutions from Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and North America. It was co-chaired by Dr Chen Zhan, Dr Julien Cooper, and Dr Yegor Grebnev from RCHC.
The conference participants covered a broad range of topics related to the Bronze Age, including the development and spread of bronze-casting technologies, inter-regional interactions in antiquity, settlement patterns, economy and sustenance, and funerary archaeology. During the final discussion, opinions were exchanged regarding the heuristic usefulness of the term “Bronze Age” in contemporary archaeological and historical research.
Although the conference included three presentations related to the Chinese Bronze Age, its focus was not restricted to China. The geographic scope of the presentations also covered South Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, North Africa, the Aegean, the Levant, and northern Eurasia, considered a large interaction zone.
At the beginning of the conference, opening speeches were delivered by Prof Chen Zhi, UIC Provost and Director of RCHC, and Prof Li Jiayong, Deputy Dean of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at BNU.
Over 800 scholars and students registered to attend the conference, with 100-250 participants present at each session, learning from the speakers and engaging in lively academic discussions on different research topics. This conference is the second international conference successfully held by RCHC, further strengthening the international profile of RCHC as a research hub committed to cooperation between scholars of antiquity from China and abroad.