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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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521010641
ISBN-10: 0521010640
Format: Paperback
(247mm x 174mm x 18mm)
Pages: 332
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 3-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Li Liu

Li Liu is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at La Trobe University. She has published various articles on the Chinese Neolithic and is the author of State Formation in Early China (with Xingcan Chen) (Duckworth, 2003).

Books By Author Li Liu

Archaeology of China by Li Liu

The Archaeology of China

Paperback, April 2012
$58.46
Chinese Neolithic by Li Liu

The Chinese Neolithic

Hardback, January 2005
$157.50
State Formation in Early China by Li Liu

State Formation in Early China

Paperback, October 2003
$33.29