Documentary on the 'Practice of Divination'

Visiting Fellow at the KHC Erlangen, Prof. Dr. Joachim Gentz (Edinburgh University) joined the academic visit as a specialist in Early Chinese literature. He describes in the interview how he profited from his onsite experience at the excavation site in Anyang and at the Museum of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Anyang Branch, as well as from his visit to the vast reserves connected to it. Becoming aware of the dimensions of the excavation sites, perceiving the output of mass production, seeing not only the highlights of the excavations but also getting a feeling for normal, maybe more mediocre material, and being able to experience single objects in their hapticity through the Academy's exhibition inspired him in ways that went far beyond any theoretical approaches and led to a change in his perspective on the material. He learned about current questions of research that will be published years in the future, by a new generation of researchers who will shape the future research. All of these impressions provided him with a context that generated new questions for future investigation. Prof. Gentz concludes with reflections on visit to the National Museum of Chinese Writing that, although designed for broader masses under a more nationalistic agenda, he describes as relatively accurate and less propagandistic than expected.