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Paul van Els

Welcome to my website!

I am a university lecturer at Leiden University in The Netherlands. My area of specialization is early Chinese thought. This includes thinkers, texts, and traditions from the Warring States period to the Han dynasty (roughly the first five centuries BCE).

In those days, rulers, ministers, and other dignitaries were often buried with a rich array of grave goods, including bronze-ware, gold-ware, or jade-ware, and occasionally with texts inked on wood, bamboo, or silk. Numerous tombs have been excavated in China in recent decades (for instance at the sites of Mawangdui or Guodian). These spectacular discoveries bring us a wealth of information about life in those days and about the worldviews of the deceased and their contemporaries. They make the vibrant field of early Chinese thought a fascinating blend of history, archaeology, philology, and philosophy.

On this website you'll find information about my work:
Feel free to contact me with comments or questions about the information on this site.
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Paul van Els
China Studies Program
Leiden University
P.O.Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands