Academic freedom, political correctness, and early civilisation in Chinese archaeology: the debate on Xia-Erlitou relations

  title={Academic freedom, political correctness, and early civilisation in Chinese archaeology: the debate on Xia-Erlitou relations},
  author={Li Rong Liu},
  pages={831 - 843}
  • L. Liu
  • Published 2009
  • History
  • Antiquity
The interpretation of archaeology is inevitably affected by the social, cultural and intellectual background of researchers. This is certainly the situation in the study of early Chinese civilisations and their material remains, particularly in regard to the Erlitou culture in the middle Yellow River region in China (c. 1900-1500 BC). The spatial and temporal definitions of the Erlitou culture are partially coincident with those of the Xia dynasty as recorded in ancient texts. The type-site of… Expand
11 Citations
Early China: A Social and Cultural History
Early China chronology Map of China 1. Introduction: early China and its natural and cultural demarcations 2. The development of complex society in China 3. Erlitou and Erligang: early statesExpand
Annihilation or decline: The fall of Anyang as an urban center
Abstract As many scholars have already pointed out, the practice of using historiography to interpret archeological data in Chinese archaeology has limited our approach to understand ancient China.Expand
Early China: Erlitou and Erligang: early state expansion
What the “multi-region” model of Neolithic cultural development cannot explain is how state-level society arose first not from other regional traditions but from the heartland of the Yangshao cultureExpand
Erlitou and Xia: A Dispute between Chinese and Overseas Scholars
Based on a review of the excavation and research at the Erlitou site at Yanshi in Henan and the Xia Culture, this article explores the causes of dispute between Chinese and overseas scholarsExpand
芒芒禹迹 :大禹傳說源流考 = Vast traces, fragmented grounds : the origins and evolution of the legend of the Great Yu
As two parallel tendencies in historical research, the exploration of myths and investigation of historical facts have through time directed the construction of “mythologized histories.” ConfirmingExpand
A semiotic approach to ‘ethnicity’. An example from Taiwanese ‘Chineseness’
ABSTRACT For a few decades, socio-cultural as well as linguistic anthropologists have worked hard to construct a reliable semiotic paradigm to study linguistic, cultural and social interactions.Expand
Charred pummelo peel, historical linguistics and other tree crops: Approaches to framing the historical context of early Citrus cultivation in East, South and Southeast Asia
Introduction to ‘AGRUMED: Archaeology and history of citrus fruit in the Mediterranean: Acclimatization, diversification, uses’ Véronique Zech-Matterne, Girolamo Fiorentino, Sylvie Coubray andExpand
Nationalism and Politics in Chinese Archaeology
  • Phillip Grimberg
  • Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology
  • 2019


Erlitou and the Formation of Chinese Civilization: Toward a New Paradigm
This paper offers an alternative paradigm to dynastic history and state formation with which to understand the formation of Chinese civilization: cultural hegemony. It argues that an elite cultureExpand
The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States
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 throughExpand
Erlitou and the Search for the Xia
This article places the recent literature on archaeological manifestations of the Xia in context, describes and analyzes the published data for the Erlitou typesite in some detail, and examinesExpand
Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology
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 ofExpand
China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization
List of Illustrations A Note on Documentation Preface Introduction -Geographical Setting: Macroregions -Cultural Setting: The Longshan Age 1. Dawn of the Bronze Age: The Erlitou Culture -The ErlitouExpand
The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC
List of maps, tables, and figures Conventions Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy Calendar and chronology Edward L. Shaughnessy The environment ofExpand
The myth of the Xia Dynasty
Was there a Xia Dynasty? By the mid-nineteen thirties, the works of Henri Maspero and other scholars in the West and of Gu Jiegang and his compatriots in China had clearly established the originallyExpand
China on the Eve of the Historical Period
This volume describes a history of ancient China, though the term China, as the name of a modern country, did not exist until recent times. The civilization that we have come to identify withExpand
State formation in early China
A study that makes use of an interdisciplinary approach to challenge traditional theories of state formation in China and promote debate on early Chinese history. Analyzing data from archaeology,Expand
Symbolic jades of the Erlitou period : A Xia royal tradition
Caracteristiques, evolution et repartition geographique des objets de jade symboliques de la culture Erlitou en Chine