The Cambridge History of Ancient China provides a survey of the cultural history of pre-imperial China. Fourteen leading specialists on early Chinese history and archaeology cover more than one thousand years. There are two chapters for each time-period - Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn, and Warring States: one on institutional history, based on both traditional and palaeographic literature, and one on material culture, based on archaeological evidence. There are also chapters on the Neolithic background, language, intellectual history, relations with Central Asia, and the debts of both the Qin and Han empires to these earlier time-periods. Although written by specialists, this Cambridge history aims to explain and describe pre-imperial China to an audience that will include scholars and students, as well as general readers without specialized knowledge of Chinese history. It can be consulted as a work of reference, or read continuously, alone or as part of The Cambridge History of China series.
• Integrates historical and archaeological evidence and viewpoints • Comprehensive account of pre-imperial China • Written by leading Western scholars on pre-imperial China
List of maps, tables, and figures; Conventions; Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; Introduction Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy; Calendar and chronology Edward L. Shaughnessy; The environment of ancient China David N. Keightley; 1. China on the eve of the historical period Kwang-chih Chang; 2. Language and writing William G. Boltz; 3. Shang archaeology Robert Bagley; 4. The Shang: China's first historical dynasty David N. Keightley; 5. Western Zhou history Edward L. Shaughnessy; 6. Western Zhou archaeology Jessica Rawson; 7. The waning of the Bronze Age: material culture and social developments, 770–481 BC Lothar von Falkenhausen; 8. The Spring and Autumn period Cho-yun Hsu; 9. Warring States: the political history Mark Edward Lewis; 10. The art and architecture of the Warring States period Wu Hung; 11. The classical philosophical writings David Sheperd Nivison; 12. Warring states: natural philosophy and occult thought Donald Harper; 13. The Northern Frontier in pre-Imperial China Nicola Di Cosmo; 14. The heritage left to the Empires Michael Loewe; Bibliography; Index.
'The Cambridge History of Ancient China bridges the gap between the earliest material evidence that has come to light through archaeological discoveries and Chinese textual sources … the present volume dedicates two chapters to each of the periods covered; one on the institutional history and the other on material culture. The results affords a far more comprehensive view of ancient China than a 'primary sources' approach could have yielded … Whether consulted as a reference or read continuously; the wealth of material in the present volume will be relevant not only to scholars and students, but to the general reading public interested in that cultural melting-pot which is China.' History Today
'Read as a whole, this volume's advocacy of archaeological insights, combined with more traditional historical approaches, offers a truly stimulating invigoration of how we imagine the ancient world in China … A particularly fascinating chapter by Nicola Di Cosmo surveys the textual and archaeological knowledge of China's northern zone … The archaeological chapters surpass all previous accounts for their narrative cohesion and detailed references.' The Times Higher Education Supplement