The archaeology of China and Inner Asia, early Chinese material culture as evidence for religious concepts and beliefs, the development and function of ornament in all parts of Eurasia.
Research on interactions between central China and Inner Asia in the Zhou (c. 1045- 221 BC), Qin (221-210 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD220) periods; on the structure and contents of Chinese tombs; and on exoticism in the Han to Tang periods (200 BC-AD900).
Selected Publications, Books and catalogues
Treasures of Ancient China, Bronzes and Jades from Shanghai, London, 2009
With Evelyn Rawski (eds), China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795, London Royal Academy Publications, 2005
Chinese Jade, from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum Press, London 1995.
Chinese Ornament, the Lotus and the Dragon. London: British Museum Publications, 1984.
Some recent articles
“Carnelian Beads, Animal Figures and Exotic Vessels: Traces of Contact between the Chinese States and Inner Asia, c. 1000-650BC.” Archäologie in China, vol. 1, Bridging Eurasia, 2010, pp. 1-42.
“Reviving Ancient Ornament and the presence of the Past: Examples from Shang and Zhou Bronze Vessels” in Wu Hung (ed.), Reinventing the Past: Archaism and Antiquarianism in Chinese Art and Visual Culture, Chicago: 2010 pp. 47-76.
“The Chinese Hill Censer, boshanlu: a note on Origins, Influences and Meanings”. Ars Asiatiques, Volume en homage á Madame Michéle Pirazzoli t’Serstevens, Vol. 61 2006, pp. 75-86.
“Novelties in Antiquarian Revivals: The Case of the Chinese Ritual Bronzes”, National Palace Museum Research Quarterly vol.22, no.1, Autumn, 2004, pp. 1-34