Mysteries of Ancient China: New Discoveries from the Early Dynasties

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9780714114729: Mysteries of Ancient China: New Discoveries from the Early Dynasties

Many important archaeological finds have been excavated in China. These discoveries reveal hitherto unrecognised societies with mysterious beliefs and social systems. Human-like figures from the south-west and strange heads of monsters from central China are evidence of religions quite different from those practised by the great dynasties known from written records. Published as the catalogue of an exhibition at the British Museum from 13th September 1996 to 5th January 1997, sponsored by "The Times", this work presents essays by Chinese and European scholars reviewing recent research in the archaeology, history of religion and social development of ancient China.

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From Library Journal:

A world-renowned authority on Chinese archaeology, Rawson (The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, LJ 6/15/93) has edited this presentation of exceptional finds dating from 5000 B.C. to A.D. 200. The objects, recently shown at the British Museum, come from prehistoric cultures about which little is known, as well as from periods up through the Han Dynasty, where the historical record is fuller. The emphasis is on cautious explanation of what is known about the sites and cultures, with limited speculation about what these objects may have meant to the people who made them. Some of the items presented, like the terra cotta army of the first Qin emperor, have already been frequently published and exhibited. But there are also recently discovered and less-well-known items included, most notably figures from the sacrificial pits at Sanxingdui. The writing is a bit dry, with some repetition among catalog entries and essays. But the objects are intriguing enough to make the volume appealing to interested lay readers, as well as to students and scholars.?Kathryn Wekselman, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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