Dr Diane Zhang-Goldberg is an archaeologist and art historian with special interest in the Tangut people. She is an associate researcher the East Asian Civilizations Research Centre and a lecturer in Chinese Art History and Asian History at Catholic University, both in Paris. She’s done extensive field work in China. She has also published numerous papers, with Weaving Heterogeneous Landscapes: Tangut depiction of deities within terrestrial landscapes and Integration of Sacred Landscapes in Funerary Architecture, Kucha Studies, Leipzig scheduled for .2023
Nomadic Traditions, Foreign Influences and Dynastic Ambitions on the Silk Road: The Xixia idiosyncrasy in light of its funerary culture.
The Tangut settled in the northwestern part of the Chinese empire during the 7th century, developing agriculture, artisanship, and trade. The buildup of an administration, the adoption of Buddhism and the formation of a capable army led to the creation of the Xixia empire, from 1038 to 1227, when the armies of Genghis Khan destroyed it.
The Xixia imperial cemetery offers precious information on the funerary architecture of the Tangut. The comparison of the imperial tombs with those of Chinese emperors and other peripheral peoples, as well as with other Xixia tombs, reveals the originality and creativity of this people. The Tangut did not imitate the Chinese. They integrated various heterogenous influences from multiple origins, leading them to a complex idiosyncratic process within the Inner Asian cultural web.