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Persian & Greek Participation in the Making of the First Empire in China

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Fowler Museum at UCLA

308 Charles E Young Drive N

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Terra-cotta warriors, high-profile buildings beneath tomb mounds, and bronze chariots, horses, and water fowl are among the iconic artifacts and images associated with China’s first imperial dynasty, the Qin (221–206 BCE). Distinguished archaeologist Duan Qingbo, from Northwest University's School of Cultural Heritage in Xi’an, China, shares new research suggesting that the roots of Qin culture may not be solely indigenous Chinese. Evidence now suggests that influences from Persia’s Achaemenid Dynasty (550–330 BCE) and from the empires of Alexander the Great and his successors may have come to China along Central Asian trading networks and impacted the development of the Qin’s material culture and social governance.

The program will begin with a concert of Chinese and Persian music performed by UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology faculty Li Qi (Director, Music of China Ensemble) and Amir Pourjavady (Director, Music of Persia Ensemble), with an introduction by Professor Helen Rees. Following the program, a hosted reception will be held on the museum’s Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg Terrace.

Hosted by UCLA Cotsen Institute for Archaeology faculty Professor Lothar Von Falkenhausen (Department of Art History and Associate Director, Cotsen Institute) and Associate Professor Li Min (Department of Anthropology and Department of Asian Languages and Cultures).


Presented at the Fowler Museum in partnership with the UCLA Cotsen Institute for Archaeology, Department of Ethnomusicology, Center for Chinese Studies, Boethius Initiative, Confucius Institute, and the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World.

This program is part of Visioning Dunhuang, a multi-year exploration of two millennia of creative and spiritual cross-cultural exchange along Afro-Eurasian trade routes, newly reflected in globalized contemporary Los Angeles.

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Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $12/day

Image: Terra-cotta warriors, Xi’an, China. Photo: Emile Spaanbroek.

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Fowler Museum at UCLA

308 Charles E Young Drive N

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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