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

Date
1999
Authors
Dematte, Paola
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
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.
Description
Keywords
Chinese archaeology, middle and lower Yellow River, Longshan era, urbanism, social complexity, the state
Citation
Dematte, P. 1999. Longshan-Era Urbanism: The Role of Cities in Predynastic China. Asian Perspectives 38 (2): 119-53.
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