A number of teaching materials on Chinese archaeology and early imperial history can be found on the National Gallery of Art’s website. These materials were developed by the National Gallery of Art and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for their exhibition “The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries From the People’s Republic of China”, which was held at the Gallery from September 1999 to January 2000.
The materials available on the website include short guides to Late Prehistoric China, Bronze Age China, the Chu and Other Cultures, and Early Imperial China. Readers will be able to learn more about China’s various Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures and early dynasties as well as gain a better understanding of ancient Chinese art and architecture. There are pages on jade, early pottery production, bronze vessels, and laquer for those who want to learn about the production and use of these artefacts in ancient China, and there are pages on the excavations of specific tombs, such as those of Lady Fu Hao (妇好) and the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝), for those who are interested in learning a little more about China’s early rulers and funerary customs.
In addition, the National Gallery of Art staff offer some suggestions for teaching activities, a basic chronology for the period covered in the teaching materials, a list of resources for further reading, and a handy pronunciation guide and glossary for those who may be unfamiliar with Mandarin and/or Chinese archaeology. While the site lacks real depth and may not be very useful to those studying Chinese archaeology and/or history at degree level, it is still an excellent introduction to China’s rich past.