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Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology

  • Li Liu (a1) and Hong Xu (a2)
Extract

Erlitou is one of the most important settlements in early China, a prime site for the investigation of early cities and states. Traditionally, it has been described, dated and explained in terms of dynastic succession – the dynasties of the Xia and the Shang being the ethnically-distinct actors and prime movers that made history here. In a brilliant analysis, the authors decouple the semi-legendary textual histories from the up-to-date archaeological sequence at Erlitou itself. This article strikes a blow for archaeological reasoning that will be felt far beyond the Yellow River.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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