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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ancient Central China: Centers and Peripheries along the Yangzi River

Author:
Rowan K Flad; Pochan Chen

Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Publication Year:
2013




Abstract:

Ancient Central China provides an up-to-date synthesis of archaeological discoveries in the upper and middle Yangzi River region of China, including the Three Gorges Dam reservoir zone. It focuses on the Late Neolithic (late third millennium BC) through the end of the Bronze Age (late first millennium BC) and considers regional and interregional cultural relationships in light of anthropological models of landscape. Rowan K. Flad and Pochan Chen show that centers and peripheries of political, economic and ritual activities were not coincident, and that politically peripheral regions such as the Three Gorges were crucial hubs in interregional economic networks, particularly related to prehistoric salt production. The book provides detailed discussions of recent archaeological discoveries and data from the Chengdu Plain, Three Gorges and Hubei to illustrate how these various components of regional landscape were configured across Central China.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: centers and peripheries in the ancient Yangzi River Valley

Part I. Setting the Stage:
2. The environment of Central China
3. Historiography and the topography of research: a history of archaeology in Central China

Part II. Political and Cultural Topographies:
4. The Sichuan Basin: Shu and its predecessors
5. The Middle Yangzi: the archaeology and history of Chu and its predecessors
6. Periphery at the center: the Ba and archaeological cultures in the Three Gorges

Part III. Topographies of Economic Activity and Ritual:
7. Economic topographies: production, exchange, and the integrating role of salt
8. Ritual topographies: sacrifice and divination
9. Ritual topographies: burials and social identity; 10. Conclusion: landscapes of interaction and the interaction of landscapes

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