President Barack Obama is appointing Lothar von Falkenhausen, a UCLA professor of Chinese archaeology and art history, to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the White House announced Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Operating under the U. S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the committee advises the president or his designee on appropriate U.S. action in response to requests by foreign governments for assistance in protecting their cultural heritage, pursuant to the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
Appointed to the 11-member committee are three experts in archaeology, anthropology, ethnology or related fields.
“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I know they will serve the American people well,” President Obama said in the announcement.
Falkenhausen was educated at Bonn University, Peking University, Kyoto University and Harvard University, and received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard in 1988.
His research centers on 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; and the history of archaeology in East Asia, among other topics.
His book "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 and is has been serving as instructor of record of the International Archaeological Field School at Yangguanzhai since 2010.