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Unformatted text preview: 1 R ISE OF C IVILIZATION [\China2007Lec1.doc] March 20, 2007 C HINESE C IVILIZATION I : S ETTING AND C HIEFDOM TO E ARLY S TATE S OCIETY ©Terence N. D’Altroy [sources: Wenke and Olsziewski 2006; Chang 1980, 1986; de Montmollin lecture notes; Underhill 1994; Yates 1997; Shelach 1994] 1. Chinese civilization a. clearly separate from other developments of civilization in Old World 2. three lectures in this class a. 1st today 1. geographic setting 2. Yang-shao a. early farming period b. tribal organization 3. Lung-shan period a. chiefdom organization b. many small polities 4: Erh-li-t’ou period a. state formation b. many features of early Chinese civilization: writing, royal leaders, divination, walled towns b. 2rd: Shang period 1. Great Bronze Age 2. first full-scale civilization: writing d. 3rd: the rise of empires 1. Chou : Great Iron Age a. first attempted imperial organization b. erratic consolidation into larger polities c. internal cycle of political centralization and decentralization 2. Qin: first empire a. Great Wall era b. tomb of Qin Shi Huang Li: Shanxi Province S OURCES OF KNOWLEDGE ON C HINESE CIVILIZATION 1. enormous amount of information available on ancient China a. outstrips info on other Old World civilizations 2. written concern for history has great antiquity in Chinz a. references to ancient past found as early as eastern Chou civilization: 770-221 BC [China 1] 1 b. Chou reference to three ancient ages and one modern 1. stone weapons 2. jade weapons 3. bronze weapons 4. now (i.e., Chou) iron c. historiography was considered morally instructive a. provided models for correct behavior d. histories burned: a little before 200 BC 1. by first emperor of China: Qin Shi Huang Li e. traditional antiquarianism 1. started in Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279) 2. 61 antiquarian scholars of the time 3. catalogue of artifacts: esp. bronzes 4. one intention: to correct "errors" of prior histories 3. modern western archaeology: new element in research a. still needed: clear understanding of early parts of the sequence 1. early farming villages 2. chiefdoms and social differentiation 3. state formation b. most work done by Chinese archaeologists 1. Western understanding: largely product of writings of K.C. Chang 2. Westerners have difficulties with Chinese languages a. and access to research locales 4. modern historical interest in ancient Chinese civilization a. e.g., Wittfogel: hydraulic hypothesis and Oriental Despotism 1. based on his studies of Chinese civilization b. Lattimore: interaction between barbarians and civilization 1. cycles of rise and fall of empires 2. core-frontier relations 3. farmer-herder symbiosis c. communist China 1. Mao: “Let the past serve the present.” 2. i.e., Chinese history should be used to justify the Marxist view of the course of history d. Fried: concerned with evolution of political systems 1. spet in Chinese history and anthropology 2. perceptions influenced by his understanding of China 3. esp. coercion and class conflictesp....
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- Spring '08
- Shang Dynasty, A., History of China, Chinese civilization a.