The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States
This book studies the formation of complex societies in prehistoric China during the Neolithic and early state periods, c. 7000–1500 BC. Archaeological materials are interpreted through anthropological perspectives, using systematic analytic methods in settlement and burial patterns. Both agency and process are considered in the development of chiefdoms and in the emergence of early states in the Yellow River region. Interrelationships between factors such as mortuary practice, craft specialization, ritual activities, warfare, exchange of elite goods, climatic fluctuations, and environmental changes are emphasized. This study offers a critical evaluation of current archaeological data from Chinese sources, and argues that, although some general tendencies are noted, social changes were affected by multiple factors in no pre-determined sequence. In this most comprehensive study to date, Li Liu attempts to reconstruct developmental trajectories toward early states in Chinese civilization and discusses theoretical implications of Chinese archaeology for the understanding of social evolution.
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1 Setting the scene
2 The changing environmental contexts of Chinas first complex societies
3 Household subsistence and ritual
4 Spatial organization and social relations in communities
5 Community burial patterns
6 Development and decline of complex societies in the Central Plains
7 Development and decline of social complexity beyond the Central Plains
Appendix archaeological artifacts Banpo bones bronze cemetery central Henan Central Plains central Shaanxi ceramic changes chapter chiefdoms China Chinese cluster Dawenkou culture dynasty early Longshan elite enclosure environmental Erlitou culture excavated faunal feasting Figure Gansu groups Henan Henan Institute household indicated Institute of Archaeology jade Jiahu Jiangsu Jiangzhai Kangjia large number late Longshan period late Neolithic late Yangshao Linyi located Longshan culture Longshan sites major center male mortuary National Bureau 1991 Neolithic period number of grave Peiligang Peiligang culture phase pits political population pottery Qujialing culture residential ritual Rizhao settlement hierarchy settlement patterns settlement system Shaanxi Shandong Shang skeletons social complexity social organization southern Shanxi stone tools suggesting Taosi tombs Tool types vessels Wang Wang Qing Wangchenggang Wei River Wei River valley western Henan Xinzhai Yangshao culture Yangshao period Yellow River Yellow River valley Yiluo Yuchisi Yueshi Zhengzhou