Tuesday, September 30, 2014

These Bones Shall Rise Again: Selected Writings on Early China

David N. Keightley

Henry Rosemont Jr.

Publication Year: 

SUNY Press


These Bones Shall Rise Again brings together in one volume many of David N. Keightley’s seminal essays on the origins of early Chinese civilization. Written over a period of three decades and accessible to the non-specialist, these essays provide a wealth of information and insights on the Shang dynasty, traditionally dated 1766–1122 or 1056 BCE. Of all the eras of Chinese history, the Shang has been a particularly elusive one, long considered more myth than reality. A historian with a keen appreciation for anthropology and archaeology, Keightley has given us many descriptions of Shang life. Best known for his analysis of oracle bones, he has looked beyond the bones themselves and expanded his historical vision to ponder the lives of those who used them. What did the Shang diviner think he was doing? The temerity to ask such questions and the insights they have provided have been provocative and, at times, controversial. Equally intriguing have been Keightley’s assertions that many of the distinctive features of Chinese civilization were already in evidence during the Shang, 3000 years ago. In this collection, readers will find not only an essential reference but also the best kind of thought-provoking scholarship.

Table of Contents:

Transcription Conversion Table

Part I: What Makes China Chinese?

1. Archaeology and Mentality: The Making of China

2. Early Civilization in China: Reflections on How it Became Chinese

3. What Did Make the Chinese “Chinese”? Some Geographical Perspectives

Part II: Religion, Metaphysics, and Theology

4. The Religious Commitment: Shang Theology and the Genesis of Chinese Political Culture

5. Late Shang Divination: The Magico-Religious Legacy

6. Shang Divination and Metaphysics

7. The Making of The Ancestors: Late Shang Religion and Its Legacy

Part III: On Writing Inscriptions

8. Theology and the Writing of History: Truth and the Ancestors in the Wu Ding Divination Records

9. Marks and Labels: Early Writing in Neolithic and Shang China

Part IV: Early China/Early Greece

10. Clean Hands and Shining Helmets: Heroic Action in Early Chinese and Greek Culture

11. Epistemology in Cultural Context: Disguise and Deception in Early China and Early Greece

Part V: A Lighter Touch

12. Notes and Comments: “There Was an Old Man of Chang’an…”: Limericks and the Teaching of Early Chinese History

Bibliography of the Writings of David N. Keightley

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Early Medieval China 20 《中國中古研究》第20期:《世說新語》專號

Table of Contents

Editor's Note
J. Michael Farmer

In the Shadows of "A New Account of Tales of the World"
Joseph R. Allen

On the Name Shishuo xinyu
Albert E. Dien

A New Note on Shishuo xinyu
Graham Sanders

The Shishuo xinyu as Data Visualization
Jack W. Chen, Zoe Borovsky, Yoh Kawano and Ryan Chen

Emotional Regime of the Shishuo Xinyu
David Jonathan Felt

Observations on the Life and Works of Liu Yiqing
Zhenjun Zhang

A Selective Bibliography on Shishuo xinyu
Yue Zhang

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Buddhism and Tales of the Supernatural in Early Medieval China: A Study of Liu Yiqing's (403–444) Youming lu 《幽明錄》

Zhenjun Zhang

Publication Year:



This book demonstrates the historical changes in early medieval China as seen in the tales of the supernatural—thematic transformation from traditional demonic retribution to Karmic retribution, from indigenous Chinese netherworld to Buddhist concepts of hell, and from the traditional Chinese savior to a new savior, Buddha. It also examines Buddhist imagery and the flourish of new motifs in the fantastic dreamworld and their relationship with Buddhism. This study relates the Youming lu to the development of popular Chinese Buddhist beliefs, attempting to single out ideas that differ from the beliefs found in Buddhist scriptures as well as miraculous tales written especially to promote Buddhism.

Table of Contents:


Liu Yiqing's world and the Youming lu

Background of the Buddhist coloring in the Youming lu

Historical thematic changes under the impact of Buddhism in early medieval 
     China as seen in the Youming lu

Buddhist imagery in early medieval China as seen in the Youming lu

A fantastic dream world: new literary motifs and Buddhist culture

Concluding remarks.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity

Victor H. Mair and Jane Hickman


University Penn Press

Publication Year: 



From the Bronze Age through the Middle Ages, a network of trade and migration routes brought people from across Eurasia into contact. Their commerce included political, social, and artistic ideas, as well as material goods such as metals and textiles. Reconfiguring the Silk Road offers new research on the earliest trade and cultural interactions along these routes, mapping the spread and influence of Silk Road economies and social structures over time. This volume features contributions by renowned scholars uncovering new discoveries related to populations that lived in the Tarim Basin, the advanced state of textile manufacturing in the region, and the diffusion of domesticated grains across Inner Asia. Other chapters include an analysis of the dispersal of languages across the Eurasian Steppe and a detailed examination of the domestication of the horse in the region. Contextualized with a foreword by Colin Renfrew and introduction by Victor Mair, Reconfiguring the Silk Road provides a new assessment of the intercultural evolution along the steppes and beyond.

Table of Contents:

Foreword: the Silk Roads before silk / Colin Renfrew -

Introduction: reconceptualizing the Silk Roads / Victor H. Muir -

At the limits: long-distance trade in the time of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Kings / J.G. Manning -

The Silk Road in late antiquity / Peter Brown -

The northern cemetery: epigone or progenitor of Small River Cemetery no. 5 / Victor H. Muir -

More light on the Xinjiang textiles / Elizabeth Wayland Barber -

Seeds for the soul: ideology and diffusion of domesticated grains across Inner Asia / Michael D. Frachetti -

Horseback riding and Bronze Age pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes / David W. Anthony and Dorcas R. Brown -

Indo-European dispersals and the Eurasian Steppe / J.P. Mallory -

Concluding comments: reconfiguring the Silk Road, or when does the Silk Road emerge and how does it qualitatively change over time? / Philip L. Kohl -


Friday, September 5, 2014

Archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age: From Erlitou to Anyang 中國青銅時代考古學:從二里頭到安陽

Roderick B. Campbell

The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

Publication Year: 


This book is a synthesis of recent Chinese archaeological work on the second millennium BCE--the period associated with China's first dynasties and East Asia's first "states." With a focus on early China's great metropolitan centers in the Central Plains and their hinterlands, this work attempts to contextualize them within their wider zones of interaction from the Yangtze to the edge of the Mongolian steppe, and from the Yellow Sea to the Tibetan plateau and the Gansu corridor. Analyzing the complexity of early Chinese culture history, and the variety and development of its urban formations, Roderick Campbell explores East Asia's divergent developmental paths and re-examines its deep past to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of China's Early Bronze Age.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - The Erlitou Period
Chapter 3 - The Erligang Period
Chapter 4 - The Xiaoshuangqiao-Huanbei Period
Chapter 5 - The Anyang Period
Chapter 6 - Conclusion: the Central Plains Bronze Age from Erlitou to Anyang