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Xiaohang Song

Research Student

Research Student in the Department of Archaeology


Educational Background

I completed both my Bachelor’s degree and my first Master’s degree in Archaeology at Shandong University (SDU), China. After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree of Archaeology from SDU in June 2015, I was admitted to the three-year master’s programme in archaeology at SDU. From September 2015 to June 2018, I mainly focused on Bronze Age archaeology of China and undertook a series of excavations and surveys on sites in Shandong, Henan and Hebei provinces. Between October 2018 and September 2019, I studied at Durham University, United Kingdom, specialising in studies of the Indian Ocean and eastern Asia, and acquired a master’s degree with distinction.

Research Abstract

Within a broader framework of the analysis of Chinese ceramic production, trade and consumption around the Indian Ocean in the medieval era, the present project aims to explore the developing organisation of ceramic production in China from the Tang dynasty to the Ming dynasty (7th-17th centuries) using principally archaeological evidence from the excavation of kiln and workshop sites. The time period encompasses critical changes in ceramic production and related social organisation, including the beginning of mass production in the Tang dynasty, the birth of ‘official kilns’ in the Song period, commercial developments in the Yuan period and the emergence of ‘imperial kilns’ in the Ming dynasty. The geographical area encompasses all of China and includes all major areas of ceramic production. Unlike previous studies that have been driven by historical literature, this research will focus on archaeological evidence, such as workshops and kiln sites, particularly their location, organisation and development and will thereby ensure a more socially-balanced approach that is not biased towards official, imperial narratives. The broader framework of the project sees Chinese trade ceramics as a unique archaeological ‘proxy’ for this industry and export activity that reflects the development of the pan- Eurasian economy in this crucial period.