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Western contact with China began long before Marco Polo, experts say:

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posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 07:46 PM
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Ancient Greek Sculpture Inspiration For China's Terracotta Warriors, Researchers Say



The Terracotta Army discovered in 1974 near Xi’an [Credit: Getty Images]


China and the West were in contact more than 1,500 years before European explorer Marco Polo arrived in China, new findings suggest. Archaeologists say inspiration for the Terracotta Warriors, found at the Tomb of the First Emperor near today's Xian, may have come from Ancient Greece. They also say ancient Greek artisans could have been training locals there in the Third Century BC.

Polo's 13th Century journey to China was the first to be well-documented. However, Chinese historians recorded much earlier visits by people thought by some to have been emissaries from the Roman Empire during the Second and Third Centuries AD. "We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor's China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road.

This is far earlier than we formerly thought," said Senior Archaeologist Li Xiuzhen, from the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Museum. The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China will be shown in the UK on BBC Two on 16 October at 20:00 BST The Chinese emperor who burned books A separate study shows European-specific mitochondrial DNA has been found at sites in China's western-most Xinjiang Province, suggesting that Westerners may have settled, lived and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor.
www.bbc.com...


The only thing that nag me a little bit is the somewhat uncertainty of May have, but this is a new Wow for me, as we are dealing with pre-Roman contacts, and a little off topic is the up coming movie about the Great Wall starring Matt Damon , I was a little put off at first, like.. oh nooo not another "white guy" coming to save the day or the girl in some exotic far off civilization again..but in this case it might have been closer to reality than I thought, and would make a great fit actually as this was the time of Qin Shi Huang the first emperor.
edit on 13-10-2016 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

The silk road was set up under the Han dynasty (about 114 BCE). This is nearly 1,500 years before Marco Polo's journeys, so, there's that.

Movements and trade of peoples living on the same continent is highly likely.

But I can't see any specific Greek influence in the Teracotta Warriors? Statuary has existed since pre-history.



posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Exactly.



posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 09:30 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Spider879

The silk road was set up under the Han dynasty (about 114 BCE). This is nearly 1,500 years before Marco Polo's journeys, so, there's that.

Movements and trade of peoples living on the same continent is highly likely.

But I can't see any specific Greek influence in the Teracotta Warriors? Statuary has existed since pre-history.





However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height. To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China. "We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art," she said. Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor's tomb support this theory.

He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.
"I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals," he said.

Well they are theorizing, that much is clear and are stitching the evidence of Dna and written works, But we should keep in mind Greco-Hindu sculpture that weren't exactly like the Greek originals, in other words allow for local taste and adaptation.



posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: Spider879

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Spider879

The silk road was set up under the Han dynasty (about 114 BCE). This is nearly 1,500 years before Marco Polo's journeys, so, there's that.

Movements and trade of peoples living on the same continent is highly likely.

But I can't see any specific Greek influence in the Teracotta Warriors? Statuary has existed since pre-history.





However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height. To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China. "We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art," she said. Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor's tomb support this theory.

He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.
"I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals," he said.

Well they are theorizing, that much is clear and are stitching the evidence of Dna and written works, But we should keep in mind Greco-Hindu sculpture that weren't exactly like the Greek originals, in other words allow for local taste and adaptation.


But the Terracotta Warriors are done in a more realistic style than previous chinese statuary, often copying details of the officers who were their models. There is no need for an outside influence to prompt a degree of realism. The finding of similar realist statuary says nothing of possible influences as inferred.

If perhaps the statues had styalized ringlets of hair, nude or partially nude figures, square meander borders, classical Greek columns in the architecture of the period, or any other Greek artistic motifs I would have to acknowledge the source but I'm seeing a fairly pure Chinese style there.

edit on 13/10/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 10:10 PM
link   

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Spider879

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Spider879

The silk road was set up under the Han dynasty (about 114 BCE). This is nearly 1,500 years before Marco Polo's journeys, so, there's that.

Movements and trade of peoples living on the same continent is highly likely.

But I can't see any specific Greek influence in the Teracotta Warriors? Statuary has existed since pre-history.





However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height. To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China. "We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art," she said. Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor's tomb support this theory.

He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.
"I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals," he said.

Well they are theorizing, that much is clear and are stitching the evidence of Dna and written works, But we should keep in mind Greco-Hindu sculpture that weren't exactly like the Greek originals, in other words allow for local taste and adaptation.


But the Terracotta Warriors are done in a more realistic style than previous chinese statuary, often copying details of the officers who were their models. There is no need for an outside influence to prompt a degree of realism. The finding of similar realist statuary says nothing of possible influences as inferred.

If perhaps the statues had styalized ringlets of hair, nude or partially nude figures, square meander borders, classical Greek columns in the architecture of the period, or any other Greek artistic motifs I would have to acknowledge the source but I'm seeing a fairly pure Chinese style there.

Point taken there should be at least a number of cross over influences even within local adaptation at least for a time, ie the kouros statues in relation to Egyptian influence before they took on a more distinctly classic Greek style.




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