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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 16, 2016

On the early metal objects and early Metal Age in Tibet

Wei Huo
From the journal Chinese Archaeology


The studies on the issue of the early making and using of the metal objects in Tibet have long been relying on the textual materials completed in later times, but could not be supported by the archaeologically obtained physical materials. This paper systematically trimmed the results of the Tibetan archaeology in recent years and pointed out that the earliest date of the making of metal objects in Tibet could be as early as 4000 BP or earlier. In 2500–2000 BP, the early Metal Age in Tibet showed a complicated feature; iron wares might have been introduced into the Tibetan Plateau, and the compound objects composed of iron, copper and bronze parts became popular, showing that the people had some knowledge on these metals. The people living in Ngari Plateau in western Tibet and Yarlung Tsangpo Valley in southern Tibet had known to use or make iron weapons and ornaments; the discovery of the large quantity of iron arrowheads proved that the iron production at that time reached a rather high level. It could also be observed from the early metal objects unearthed in Tibet that their making probably referred to the various features of the manufacturing and decorating of the early metal objects in the surrounding areas, and some special metal objects might have been introduced into Tibet through multiple possible approaches.


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Published Online: 2016-11-16
Published in Print: 2016-11-27

© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter, Inc