The Archaeology of China: From the Late Paleolithic to the Early Bronze Age

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-30
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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This book explores the roles of agricultural development and advancing social complexity in the processes of state formation in China. Over a period of about 10,000 years, it follows evolutionary trajectories of society from the last Paleolithic hunting-gathering groups, through Neolithic farming villages, and on to the Bronze Age Shang dynasty in the latter half of the second millennium BC. Li Liu and Xingcan Chen demonstrate that sociopolitical evolution was multicentric and shaped by inter-polity factionalism and competition, as well as by the many material technologies introduced from other parts of the world. The book illustrates how ancient Chinese societies were transformed during this period from simple to complex, tribal to urban, and preliterate to literate.

Table of Contents

Chinese archaeology: past, present, and future
Environment and ecology
Foragers and collectors in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (24,0009000 cal. BP)
Domestication of plants and animals
Neolithization: sedentism and food production in the Early Neolithic (70005000 BC)
Emergence of social inequality: the Middle Neolithic (50003000 BC)
Rise and fall of early complex societies: the Late Neolithic (30002000 BC)
Formation of early states in the Central Plain: Erlitou and Erligang (1900/18001250 BC)
Bronze cultures of the north frontiers and beyond during the early second millennium BC
The Late Shang dynasty and its neighbors (12501046 BC)
Chinese civilization in comparative perspective
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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