Lothar von Falkenhausen

A photo of Lothar von Falkenhausen
E-mail: lothar@humnet.ucla.edu Office: Dodd Hall 221C


Fields of Interest: Chinese Art and Archaeology


Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History at UCLA, where he has taught since 1993. He was educated at Bonn University, Peking University, Kyoto University, and Harvard University, and received his PhD in anthropology from Harvard in 1988. His research concerns the archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age, focusing on large interdisciplinary and historical issues on which archaeological materials can provide significant new information. He has published copiously on musical instruments, including a book, Suspended Music: Chime Bells in the Culture of Bronze Age China (1993); Chinese bronzes and their inscriptions; Chinese ritual; regional cultures; trans-Asiatic contacts; the history of archaeology in East Asia; and method and theory in East Asian archaeology. His Chinese Society in the Age of Confucius (1000-250 BC): The Archaeological Evidence (2006) received the Society for American Archaeology Book Award. Falkenhausen was co-Principal Investigator of an international archaeological project on ancient salt production in the Yangzi River basin (1999-2004) and is presently serving as Instructor of Record of the International Archaeological Field School at Yangguanzhai (2010-). He serves on the Scientific Council of the French School of Far Eastern Studies and on President Obama’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee. He is a Member of the German Archaeological Institute; a Honorary Research Fellow of the Shaanxi Archaeological Academy; a Honorary Professor of Zhejiang University; and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society.


Undergraduate (Selected)

  • Art and Material Culture of Early China (6000-221 BC) (Upper-Division lecture course)
  • Art and Material Culture of Early Imperial China (221 BC-AD 906) (Upper-Division lecture course)
  • Art Historical Theories and Methods (Undergraduate Seminar)
  • Undergraduate Seminar: Art, Technology, and Economics in pre-Imperial China
  • Chinese Art (Lower-Division Survey)

Graduate (Selected)

  • Core Seminar in Archaeology, part II (“Humanistic Archaeology”)
  • History and Archaeology Along the Ancient ‘Silk Routes’ (Graduate Seminar)
  • Cosmology in the Art of Early Imperial China (Graduate Seminar)
  • The City in Ancient East Asia (Graduate Seminar)
  • Archaeological Perspectives on the History of Science in Ancient China (Graduate Seminar)

Selected Publications

  • Chinese Society in the Age of Confucius (1000-250 BC): The Archaeological Evidence. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, 2006 (also published in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese translations)
  • Suspended Music: Chime-Bells in the Culture of Bronze Age China. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993.
  • World Antiquarianism (co-editor, with Alain Schnapp, Peter Miller, and Tim Murray), Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute Press, 2013.
  • Salt Archaeology in China / Zhongguo yanye kaogu 中國鹽業考古, 3 v. (co-editor, with Li Shuicheng). Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe, 2006, 2009, 2013.
  • Birth of an Empire: The State of Qin Revisited (co-editor, with Yuri Pines, Gideon Shelach, and Robin D. S. Yates). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2013.
  • The Lloyd Cotsen Study Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors 2 v. (editor), Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2010, 2011.
  • “The Royal Audience and Its Reflections in Western Zhou Bronze Inscriptions.” In Writing and Literacy in Early China, Li Feng and David Prager Branner (eds.), pp. 239-270. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 2011.
  • “East Asian Art History at UCLA: Its History and Current Challenges.”  In Global and World Art in the Practice of the University Museum, Jane Chin Davidson and Sandra Esslinger (ed.), pp. 96-113.  Oxford et al.: Routledge, 2018.
  • “The Study of East Asian Art History in Europe: Some Observations on Its Early Stages.”  In Bridging Times and Spaces: Festschrift for Gregory E. Areshian on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, Pavel S. Aretisyan and Yervand H. Grekyan (ed.), pp. 89-102.  Oxford: Archaeopress, 2017.
  • “Communication with the Divine Sphere in Ancient China.”  In Über den Alltag hinaus: Festschrift für Thomas O. Höllmann zum 65. Geburtstag, Armin Selbitschka and Shing Müller (ed.), pp. 19-29.  Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2017.
  • “The Problem of Human Representation in Pre-Imperial China.”  In Bilder der Macht: Das griechische Porträt und seine Verwendung in der antiken Welt, Dietrich Boschung and François Queyrel (ed.), pp. 377-401.  Morphomata, v. 34.  Paderborn: W. Fink, 2017.