The Rebellious Marquis: The Rise of the Zhou Court in South China from a Frontier Perspective
A talk with Kent Cao, Assistant Professor, Art and Archaeology, Duke Kushan University / Assistant Professor of the Practice of Global Studies, Duke University
In approximately 1050 BCE the Western Zhou court overthrew the Shang state and controlled much of the present-day Henan and Shaanxi. Encountering an unprecedentedly expansive territory, the new regime devised an innovative political system – a kinship-based delegatory governance through clansmen, relatives and allies. The King of Zhou appointed the Marquis E to guard the kingdom’s unsettled southern borders. Although received texts mention little regarding Marquis E, recent archaeological excavations brought to light the princely cemetery and exquisite ritual bronze vessels of the E state. Through the lens of art history and archaeology, we will examine the tragic history of the little known E state, and its complex relations with the neighbouring powers and the central court.