Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History

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The study of early China has been radically transformed over the past fifty years by archaeological discoveries, including both textual and non-textual artifacts. Thanks to the huge fund of new data provided by archaeology, historians are now keenly aware that traditional accounts of the period are inadequte because they are partisan, prescriptive, and incomplete. Excavations of settlements and tombs have demonstrated that most people did not lead their lives in accordance with the rituals canons, while previously unknown documents have shown that most received histories were written retrospectively by victors, and present a correspondingly skewed and anachronistic perspective. This handbook provides an authoritive survey of Chinese history from the Stone Age to A.D. 220. It is the first volume to include not only a comprehensive review of political history, but also detailed treatments of topics that transcend particular historical moments, such as warfare, cities, literature, and science. The contributions from doyens in the field and up and coming scholars reflect the cutting edge research that is redefining the study of Early Chinese history.