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The Material Culture in The Royal Nomadic Court of Imperial Tibet (7th-9th centuries)

David Pritzker, DPhil in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the University of Oxford

In the 7th century Tibet arose as newcomers on the stage of history. This talk will explore how the royal aesthetics of their nomadic court exemplifies an energy and spirit unique to the explosive and short-lived Tibetan Empire (7th-9th centuries). By looking at how processes of transfer and translation informed craftsmanship, types, shapes, and decorative motifs, this lecture will offer an opulent and vivid narrative telling of the rise in history of the early Kings of Tibet during its tryst with imperial greatness.

Beginning with the reign of Srong-btsan sgam-po, in the first half of the 7th century, and reaching it’s political military height during the time of Khri-srong lde-btsan, in the late 8th century, the royal nomadic encampment of Tibet engaged itself in the building of an imperial kingdom that was one of the largest the world has ever known. From royal hunts to sumptuous feasts, opulent marriages and massif funerals, Tibetans of this time fashioned themselves as matchless warriors and universal monarchs. Through images of paintings and silk, and objects of gold and silver, this talk promises to be if anything else a feast for the eyes and imagination.