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Longshan-Era Urbanism: The Role of Cities in Predynastic China

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Title: Longshan-Era Urbanism: The Role of Cities in Predynastic China
Authors: Dematte, Paola
Keywords: Chinese archaeology
middle and lower Yellow River
Longshan era
social complexity
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LC Subject Headings: Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation: Dematte, P. 1999. Longshan-Era Urbanism: The Role of Cities in Predynastic China. Asian Perspectives 38 (2): 119-53.
Series/Report no.: Volume 38
Number 2
Abstract: One of the key features in the development of social complexity in ancient China was the emergence of urbanism and the construction of large, fortified settlements of increasing size and complexity This trend predates the earliest dynastic period in China and is associated with the Longshan era dating to c. 2600-2000 B.C. A new construction technology involving rammed-earth walls and platforms was developed and was increasingly employed to create large walls surrounding Longshan settlements, some of which were as much as 30 ha in size. Several of these large, fortified centers are now known along the middle and lower Yellow River basin, as well as from coastal regions, Inner Mongolia, and to the south along the Yangzi River. Both archaeological and textual sources from China are surveyed, and the geographic distributions of early urban settlements and their associated polities are described. Several hypotheses are advanced to interpret the organization and development of these early city-states and their relationship to the later and larger dynastic states of early historic China. KEYWORDS: Chinese archaeology, middle and lower Yellow River, Longshan era, urbanism, social complexity, the state.
ISSN: 1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections:Asian Perspectives, 1999 - Volume 38, Number 2 (Fall)

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