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Limin Huan

University of Oxford

“For me, archaeology is a mirror through which I can see both the great diversity and also a certain universality of humanity."

“Understanding this was my light bulb moment, my motivation to become an archaeologist."

Limin Huan’s eye was caught by the bright colours of Neolithic pots found near the Chinese city of Lanzhou and this got him thinking about the cultures that shaped these objects and the communities that traded them. And while working on excavations in the area, he became fascinated by the unfolding human story they revealed and its relevance to today. Ancient peoples, he found, had forged connections with more distant groups - and a similar process is under way now.


“Something about the way that humanity thinks and acts”, he says, “lies not only in the static past but also in the living present”, an observation that guides his passion for archaeology. So after graduating with a physics degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University, Limin went on to gain a DPhil thesis at Oxford exploring how leaded bronze transformed prehistoric China.

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