top of page
Jessica Rawson.jpg

Prof Dame Jessica Rawson

University of Oxford

“Horses are so familiar to us in the West that we often fail to recognise the amazing skills of Mongolian horse-riders and horse-breeders and also the challenges that the Chinese, always in need of horses, faced in developing their own cavalry."

Jessica Rawson is among the foremost Western experts in the history and culture of China

Jessica Rawson has played a crucial role in highlighting the global significance of Chinese history and culture. In a long and distinguished career, she’s visited, researched and lectured in most Chinese provinces with an astonishing total of nearly 100 trips to the country overall.


During more than twenty years at the British Museum, she led the curation of ground-breaking exhibitions of Chinese art including the famous Hotung collection of beautiful jades, movingly describing them as being “for enjoyment for all eternity.”


Emerita Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, first female Warden of Merton College in Oxford and Honorary Professor at the Universities of Peking and Hangzhou, Jessica was awarded the title of Dame in 2002. She received the Tang prize in Sinology for ‘Giving Voice to Mute Objects’ in 2022. Her latest book, Life and Afterlife in Ancient China, was published last year.

bottom of page