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Cover for The Formation of Chinese Civilization

The Formation of Chinese Civilization

An Archaeological Perspective (The Culture & Civilization of China)

Kwang-chih Chang, Pingfang Xu, Liancheng Lu (Contributions by), Wangping Shao (Contributions by), Youping Wang (Contributions by), Hong Xu (Contributions by), Wenming Yan (Contributions by), Zhongpei Zhang (Contributions by), Sarah Allan (Editor)


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Paleolithic sites from one million years ago, Neolithic sites with extraordinary jade and ceramic artifacts, excavated tombs and palaces of the Shang and Zhou dynasties—all these are part of the archaeological riches of China. This magnificent book surveys China’s archaeological remains and in the process rewrites the early history of the world’s most enduring civilization.

Eminent scholars from China and America show how archaeological evidence establishes that Chinese culture did not spread from a single central area, as was long assumed, but emerged out of geographically diverse, interacting Neolithic cultures. Taking us to the great archaeological finds of the past hundred years—tombs, temples, palaces, cities—they shed new light on many aspects of Chinese life. With a wealth of fascinating detail and hundreds of reproductions of archaeological discoveries, including very recent ones, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Chinese antiquity and Chinese views on the formation of their own civilization.

Yale University Press, 9780300093827, 384pp.

Publication Date: August 12, 2005

About the Author

K. C. Chang, the late John E. Hudson Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University, was the author of many books, including The Archaeology of Ancient China, published by Yale University Press. Xu Pingfang is the former director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. Sarah Allan is the Burlington Northern Foundation Chair of Asian Studies at Dartmouth College and the author of numerous books.