The International Symposium on “Ordos Bronzes and Early Cultural Exchanges between East and West: Northern Steppe Road” held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
From：Chinese Archaeology Writer： Date：2010-09-21
From 25th -27th August 2010 the International Symposium on “Ordos Bronzes and Early Cultural Exchanges between East and West: Northern Steppe Road” was held at the State Guest House in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. The symposium was hosted by the Institute of Archaeology CASS, the Ordos Municipal Government, the Bureau of Cultural Relics of Inner Mongolia and the Archaeology Department of the University of Cambridge in UK, and organized by the Bureau of Culture of Ordos, the Ordos Bronze Museum and the Inner Mongolia Museum.
The symposium gathered about one hundred experts from ten countries including China, the UK, Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, America and Australia. They started heated arguments on issues of northern Steppe Road, cultural exchanges between East and West and the Ordos bronzes.
The Scholars made introduction and discussion on cultural groups of the Bronze Age in the Eurasian steppe and its related archaeological cultures. Those from Russia, Mongolia, America, the UK and China respectively introduced their archaeological work in their own fields. The subjects like the features of these cultural relics, their similarities with the steppe cultures and possible relationships between them have been extensively explored and discussed.
On the symposium Martin Jones from the University of Cambridge hold forth a new idea about the globalization which occurred in the prehistoric world. He pointed out that 4000-5000 years ago in the broad regions of Eurasia continent and northern Africa ancient cultural groups started frequent exchanges and migrations. The opinion attracted vast attention of the attended experts. They argued that the Eurasia Steppe played an important role in the contacts and clashes among these prehistoric cultures, and the series of early bronze cultures in the steppe acted as an intermediary between them.
According to the issue of the northern Steppe Road, the scholars explored from different perspectives the cultural exchanges occurred in this passage before the opening of the Silk Road. For example the westward spread of millet, sheep and goat, the eastward spread of wheat, the spread of horse and chariot and the exchange of bronze melting and manufacturing technology etc.. In addition, the similarities of bronze weapons and plaques in animal style, which appeared in different cultures within this vast region, also showed the importance of the Steppe Road.
After the symposium, the experts journeyed to Huhhot and visited the Inner Mongolia Museum, and finally they went to Liangcheng and investigated the archaeological sites in the Daihai region. (Translated by Tong Tao)