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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Patrick Wertmann

Patrick Wertmann, Dr.

Room number
RAA H-27

Research interests

  • Archaeology and art history of China and Central Asia
  • Archaeology of the Silk Roads
  • Museums / Archaeological site museums in China
  • Traditional indigenous skills and techniques, especially leatherworking

Curriculum Vitae

Employment History
since 02/2020 Senior Researcher in the project “Sino-Indo-Iranica rediviva – Early Eurasian migratory terms in Chinese and their cultural implications” at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich
2018 – 2019 Direktor Marketing and Temporary Acting Director at the Beijing Branch Office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
2016 – 2018 Research Fellow at the Institute of Classical Chinese, Renmin University, Beijing
2013 – 2016 Research Fellow and Coordinator of the project „Silk Road Fashion“ at the Beijing Branch Office/Eurasia-Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI)
2009 – 2010 Research Assistant at the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Berlin
2008 Intern, German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Beijing
2008 Intern, Museum of Asian Art, Berlin
2010 – 2013

Doctoral Studies, Free University Berlin, Institute of the History of East Asian Arts / German Archaeological Institute
Topic: Sogdians in China – An archaeological and art historical research based on tomb finds and historical texts from the 3rd to the 10 century AD
Awarded with the Médaille Stanislas-Julien of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris

2004 – 2009 Master Studies (Magister), Free University Berlin, Institute of East Asian Studies and Institute of the History of East Asian Arts
2006 – 2007 Semester abroad, Fudan University, Shanghai


I. Scientific publications

Wertmann, P., Yibulayinmu, M. Wagner, M., Taylor, Ch., Müller, S., Xu, D.L. Elkina, I., Deng, Y.H., Tarasov, P.E., 2023. The earliest directly dated saddle for horse-riding from a mid-1st millennium BCE female burial in Northwest China. Archaeological Research in Asia 35: 100451. doi:

Wertmann, P., 2023. Buddhistische Höhentempel in China. In: Hardaker, S., Dannenberg, P. (eds.), China – Geographien einer Weltmacht. Springer Spektrum Verlag, Berlin.

玛尔亚木•依不拉音木, 邓永红, Wertmann, P., 徐东良, Elkina, I., Vogel, R., Tarasov, P., La Rocca, D.J., Wagner, M., 2023. Wù zuò yǒu di, jì chuán wújiāng: Zhōngguó xīběi fāxiàn yuē 2700 nián qián Yàshù fēnggé píjiǎ  物作有地,技传无疆:中国西北发现约2700年前亚述风格皮甲. In: Xiao, L. (ed.), Sichou zhi Lu yanjiu 丝绸之路研究 [Silk Road Studies], Vol. 3.

Leipe, Ch., Long, T.W., Wertmann, P., Wagner, M. (eds.), 2022. Holocene Environments, Human Subsistence and Adaptation in Northern and Eastern Eurasia. Quaternary International. doi:

Wagner, M., Hallgren-Brekenkamp, Xu, D.L., Kang, X.J., Wertmann, P., James, C., Elkina, I., Hosner, D., Leipe, Ch., Tarasov, P.E., 2022. The invention of twill tapestry points to Central Asia: Archaeological record of multiple textile techniques used to make the woollen outfit of a ca. 3000-year-old horse rider from Turfan, China. Archaeological Research in Asia, 29, 100344.

Wertmann, P., Xu, D.L., Elkina, I., Vogel, R., Yibulayinmu, M., Tarasov, P.E., La Rocca, D.J., Wagner, M., 2021. No borders for innovations: A ca. 2700-year-old Assyrian-style leather scale armour in Northwest China. Quaternary International. November 2021.

Xu, H., Wertmann, P. (transl.), 2021. Dynamic Interpretation of Early Cities in Ancient China. Springer, Singapore.

Zhao, Sh.P., Schulz-Brize, Th., Mechelke, K., Chen, X.Ch., Wertmann, P., Wagner, M., Die Konstruktion der Mittleren Buddha-Halle des Chongming-Klosters im Kreis Gaoping, Provinz Shanxi. Die Arbeiten der Jahre 2018 bis 2020. In: e-Forschungsbericht des DAI 2020, Faszikel 3, 1-18.

Wertmann, P., Chen, X.Y., Li, X., Xu, D.L., Tarasov, P.E., Wagner, M., New evidence for ball games in Eurasia from ca. 3000-year-old Yanghai tombs in the Turfan depression of Northwest China. In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2020, 102576, ISSN 2352-409X,

Wertmann, P., The City and a Gate, the Pass and a Road – Four components that make Luoyang the capital of the Silk Roads between 1st and 7th century AD. In: e-Forschungsbericht des DAI 2019, Faszikel 1. Online verfügbar unter:

Wertmann, P., Creating cultural identity in China by popularizing archaeological material and cultural heritage. In: Ludwig, C., Wang, Y. and Walton, L. (eds.) The Reinvention, Dissemination and Consumption of Heritage in China. Amsterdam: AUP (in Vorbereitung, 2020).

Wagner, M., Wertmann, P., Tarasov, P., Massier, C., Chinas Grosse Mauern. In: Mitmach- und Entdeckerbücher zur Ostasiatischen Archäologie, Band 2. Nünnerich-Asmus Verlag & Media, Mainz am Rhein 2018.

Wertmann, P., Lun wenhua yichan zai „Yi Dai Yi Lu“ goujian zhong de zuoyong 论文化遗产在“一带一路”构建中的作用 [The use of cultural heritage in the „Belt and Road“ Initiative]. In: 2017 nian qingnian Hanxuejia yanxiu jihua lunwenji 2017年青年汉学家研修计划论文集 [Essay collection of the 2017 young sinologists research program], Juli 2018.

Wertmann, P. 魏骏骁, Ru Hua Sute ren zangju shang de shoulie tu 入华粟特人葬具上的狩猎图 [Hunting scenes depicted on funerary furniture of Sogdians in China]. In: Sichou zhi Lu yanjiu 丝绸之路研究 [Silk Road Studies], Vol. 1, Dezember 2017.

A. E. Kramell, P. Wertmann, D. Hosner, R. Kluge, F. Oehler, Ch.-H. Wunderlich, P. E. Tarasov, M. Wagner, R. Csuk, A multi-analytical techniques based approach to study the colorful clothes and accessories from mummies of Eastern Central Asia. In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10, Dezember 2016, 464–473.

Wertmann, P., Wagner, M., Sogdian careers and families in China: case study of the 7th century Shi family based on archaeological finds and epitaph inscriptions. In: The History of the Family, September 2016.

Wertmann, P., Sogdians in China – Archaeological and art historical analyses of tombs and texts from the 3rd to the 10th century AD. In: Archaeology in China and East Asia 2015, 5.

II. Popular-scientific publications

Wertmann, P., The Wooden Maps from Fangmatan. In: DIG into history, The Kingdom of Chu (in Vorbereitung, August 2019).

Wertmann, P., A World of Maps. In: DIG into history, The Kingdom of Chu (in Vorbereitung, August 2019).

Wertmann, P., Is Cash Free the Way to Be? The Convenience and Risks of Mobile Payment in China. In: Muse, April 2019.

Wertmann, P., The Nine Mounds of Jiuliandun. In: DIG into history, The Kingdom of Chu, November 2018.

Wertmann, P., The Riddle of Xiongjia Cemetery. In: DIG into history, The Kingdom of Chu, November 2018.

Wertmann, P., China’s Women Warriors. In: China’s Liang Hongyu, DIG into history, März 2016.

Wertmann, P., Oracle Bones. In: DIG into history, Juli 2017.

Wertmann, P., The Grand Canal. In: DIG into history, November 2016.

Wertmann, P., The 13 Tombs of the Ming Dynasty. In: DIG into history, November 2016.

Wertmann, P., Spirit of the nation takes special place in cultural life. In: China Daily, Juli 2016.

Wertmann, P., Sogdian traders – global networkers of the East. In: DIG into history, Travelling the Silk Road in the Year One, Juni 2016.

Wertmann, P., The Hujiaying Site. In: DIG into history, Mai 2016.

Wertmann, P., Yu the Great. In: DIG into history, China's Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, November 2015, 20-22.

Wertmann, P., The Cave of Immortals. In: DIG into history, China's Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, November 2015, 50-53.

Wertmann, P., A Journey Downstream. In: DIG into history, China’s Yellow River, Februar 2015, 2-6.

Wagner, M., Wertmann, P., Tarasov, P., Durkin-Meisterernst, D., Die Netzwerker des Ostens. In: Epoc 2011,1, 44-49.

Research projects

2021 – 2024: The collaborative Sino-Swiss initiative "Restoration and Documentation of Historical Leather from the Daur, Oroqen, and Evenks in Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, P.R. China" undertaken in collaboration with the Ethnographic Museum Hulun Buir, P.R. China, and generously funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK), dedicated to the safeguarding of movable cultural heritage.

Interviews and media entries (selection)

„Is this the world's oldest saddle?“. In : National Geographic, 04.01.24.

„Warum gibt es Pyramiden? Ungelöste Fälle der Archäologie“. In: Terra X, 15.10.23.

„World's earliest known saddle found in China?”. In : Current World Archaeology, 17.07.23.

„2,700-Year-Old Saddle Found in China“. In : Archaeology Magazine, 26.05.23.

„Bisher ältester Sattel in Wüstengrab entdeckt”. In : Deutschlandfunk Nova, 25.05.23.

„2,700-year-old leather saddle found in woman's tomb in China is oldest on record“. In : Live Science, 24.05.23.

„Sattel aus dem Wüstengrab, der vielleicht älteste weltweit“. In : Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 24.05.23.

„Der früheste direkt datierte Reitsattel einer Frau in Nordwest China“. In : Blog des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 02.06.23.

„Chine: une armure en écailles de cuir découverte dans une tombe datant de 2500 ans“. In : Geo France, 18.01.21.

„Technologietransfer in der Antike“. In: Wissen Kompakt, Bayerischer Rundfunk, 10.12.21.

„2,700-Year-Old Leather Armor Proves Technology Transfer Happened in Antiquity“. In : Universität Zürich, 08.12.21.

„Antiker Technologietransfer: Assyrische Rüstung gelangte bis nach Fernost“. In : Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 08.12.21.