CRCAO member - China Team

Alain Thote

Emeritus professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études


My research focuses on the art and archaeology of China in the Bronze Age (ca. 16th-3rd c. B.C.), in particular on funerary practices, craftsmanship, ritual bronzes, and more broadly on the cultures of the Chu kingdom and the peripheral cultures of Qin, Wu and Yue. On two occasions, after having trained in archaeology in France, I participated in excavations in China, first under the direction of Henri-Paul Francfort and Corinne Debaine-Francfort in the Takla-Makan desert (Xinjiang province) in 1993-1996,  then within the framework of an archaeological research program that I initiated and directed from 1999, the “Franco-Chinese Archaeological program on Chu culture », in cooperation with the University of Wuhan and the Archaeological Institute of the Henan Province.

Research thematics

  • Material culture
  • Burial practices
  • Craftsmanship and workshops
  • Artists and artisans
  • Bronze metallurgy
  • Lacquer craftsmanship
  • Exchanges of goods in Pre-Qin China
  • Relations between center and periphery
  • Local cultures