Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology

  title={Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology},
  author={Li Liu and Hong Xu},
  pages={886 - 901}
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… Expand
State Emergence in Early China
Questions relating to state emergence in China are often intertwined with the origins of early dynasties. This subject involves many disciplines, including archaeology, history, and anthropology, andExpand
Academic freedom, political correctness, and early civilisation in Chinese archaeology: the debate on Xia-Erlitou relations
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 ChineseExpand
The Archaeology of Early China: From Prehistory to the Han Dynasty
1. The geographic and environmental background 2. Before cultivation: human origins and the incipient development of human culture in China 3. The transition to food production: variability andExpand
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
Ancient Central China: Centers and Peripheries along the Yangzi River
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 historyExpand
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
The Archaeology of China: From the Late Paleolithic to the Early Bronze Age
1. Chinese archaeology: past, present, and future 2. Environment and ecology 3. Foragers and collectors in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (24,000-9000 cal. BP) 4. Domestication of plants andExpand
Archaeological Discoveries in the People’s Republic of China and Their Contribution to the Understanding of Chinese History
More than eight decades ago, the distinguished Chinese scholar Hu Shi (1891–1962) wrote an essay titled ‘My Views on Ancient History’, in which he said: My outlook regarding ancient history is, forExpand
Rise and fall of complex societies in the Yiluo region, North China: The spatial and temporal changes
Abstract The Yiluo region in the middle Yellow River has been a core area of archaeological inquiry for understanding the origins of the first dynastic states in China. In order to investigate theExpand
Erlitou: The origin of the tradition of non-fortified primary capitals in early China
Abstract This paper reviews and assesses traits and concepts related to “non-fortified primary capitals” within China and evaluates its two thousand year history in the development of Chinese ancientExpand


On the historiographical orientation of Chinese archaeology
(Res.d'A.). This year, as it seems every year, news comes from China of another spectacular archaeological discovery. What is the framework of ideas and research that study these treasures? And howExpand
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
Mortuary Ritual and Social Hierarchy in the Longshan Culture
The mortuary data from the Longshan culture provide crucial information for understanding the process of socio-political change from non-stratified to stratified societies in late Neolithic China.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
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
Building the Chronology of Early Chinese History
The generally accepted chronology of Chinese history begins in 841 B.C., seventy years before the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty. In Shiji, Sima Qian (c. 145–89 B.C.) compiled a chronological tableExpand
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
Origins of Religious Art and Iconography in Preclassic Mesoamerica
Contributions: les documents olmeques du Musee national d'Anthropologie du Mexique (Maria Antonieta Cervantes)| le Dragon olmec, son iconographie (Peter David Joralemon)| les rapports entre l'art duExpand
Order, legitimacy, and wealth in ancient states
Part I. Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States: 1. Introduction: ideology, wealth, and the comparative study of 'civilizations' Mary Van Buren and Janet Richards 2. Order, legitimacy, andExpand
Erlitou yizhi faxian daxing weihuan zuofangqu (A large craft workshop enclosure discovered at the Erlitou site)
  • Zhouguo Wenwubao
  • 2006