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Grant number like: FA-53698-08

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Crispin L. Williams
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2008 – 7/31/2009

The Wenxian Covenant Texts and the Birth of an Early Chinese State, 5th Century B.C.

The fellowship will enable me to ensure the completion of the excavation report for the Wenxian Covenant Texts, and to finish an English monograph on the texts. The covenants, excavated in 1980-81 in Henan, China, were brush-written on stone tablets and date to the early 5th century BC. In the individualized texts, thousands of participants swear allegiance to the leader of the Han lineage, which was soon to become an independent polity--they are primary evidence of state formation. I have collaborated with the two excavators of the texts in the past and my Ph.D. analyzed parts of the materials. Preparation of the excavation report has been conducted separately by each excavator. My previous collaboration and training make me uniquely qualified to bring the two halves together into a coherent whole for publication. I will also complete a monograph, expanding on my dissertation to provide fully annotated translations of the texts, along with interpretation of their content and language.