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The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries from The People`s Republic of China by Xiaoneng Yang



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Book description
While traditional Chinese antiquarianism has endured for 1,000 years, modern field archaeology has come to be practiced in China only recently. The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology recognizes the results of a five-decade-long effort—beginning in the second half of the 20th century—to encourage and support archaeological projects throughout China. The works included are arranged chronologically, from 5000 BCE to the 10th century CE, with works from the same culture or find site presented in groups. These works indicate the rich diversity of the earliest times and the increasingly uniform cultural standards that were imposed over the centuries. Twenty-four specialists in Chinese art and archaeology contributed texts that illustrate some of the major findings from the past 50 years and how they have revised and informed our understanding of Chinese history, ancestry, culture, and tradition.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0300081324, Hardcover)

Fifty years of scientific archaeology in the People's Republic of China (PRC) have redefined early Chinese culture. This handsome volume surveys some of the most spectacular recent finds and their role in reshaping the history of civilization in ancient China. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., teamed up with Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to organize a second extravaganza of unburied treasures, emphasizing discoveries made since their last show in 1974. The more than 175 objects from four historical periods and in numerous media represent important early sites and a diversity of cultures located outside the central Yellow River area--most notably in the south and southwest regions, like the state of Chu. The range is vast, from roughly painted pots about 6,000 years old to lovely clay and marble figures modeling the courtly fashions of 1,000 years ago. The excellent photographs and short texts on individual objects and their excavation sites describe their artistic and historical importance and prompt readers to savor individual artifacts over broad sweeps of history. Linger over a unique pottery basin painted with diagonal lozenges; an over-life-size bronze figure and related heads with strikingly geometrical features; various fantastic creatures in bronze and jade; lacquer bowls and silk garment fragments that have unbelievably survived the centuries; and polychromed Buddhist deities that reveal details like blue mustaches and eyebrows.

The exhibition runs in Washington, D.C., then Houston, Texas, and San Francisco, California, through September 2000. --Alex Lawrence

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

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"In the last fifty years, archaeological discoveries have altered traditional beliefs on the formation and development of the civilization of ancient China. This book and the exhibition that it accompanies cover the period from 5000 BCE to the 10th-century C.E. presenting more than 170 masterpieces in jade, stone, ivory bone, pottery, bronze, lacquer, bamboo, gold, and silver. Together these astonishing objects demonstrate that highly advanced artistic cultures originated in and flowered throughout a vast area. Earlier generations of scholars believed that a much smaller area, the Yellow River Valley, was the principal source and locus of Chinese civilization."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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