Photo: Karl Zetterström

China before China

People have lived in East Asia for thousands of years, long before written history and the empire of the Middle Kingdom. The China before China exhibition tells us about how people were living and creating in East Asia for thousands of years before the rise of the Middle Kingdom.

That the Östasiatiska museet/Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities can show a larger number of objects from Neolithic China than anyone else outside of China is all because of the museum's founder, Johan Gunnar, a k a 'China-Gunnar'. Johan Gunnar and fellow researchers in modern China discovered these objects during an archaeological excavation in the 1920's as a result of which, Johan Gunnar was granted permission to bring them back to Sweden.