Art and Archaeology of Ancient China
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Term 1
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of the course, students should have:
- an understanding of archaeological material from the prehistoric period to the early Chinese empire, and a presentation skill in writing;
- an understanding of the basic methodology in archaeological research and the major issues in Chinese archaeology:
- early agriculture,
- pottery and bronze productions,
- formation of state and empire,
- ritual and art, and the practice of archaeology in modern China.
Scope and syllabus
This course covers the period from the prehistory to the beginning of Chinese Empire (c. 6000- 200BCE).
Week 1 Introduction: China and the ‘Chinese’
Week 2 Early agriculture: Yangshao and Hemudu cultures
Week 3 Burial and complex society: Dawenkou and Majiaoyao cultures
Week 4 Ritual and jade: Hongshan and Liangzhu cultures
Week 5 Emergence of city: Longshan horizon
Week 6 Early pottery: typology and technology
Week 7 Reading week
Week 8 From pottery to bronze: Erlitou culture
Week 9 The Shang: Zhengzhou, Anyang, and beyond
Week 10 The Zhou: kings, nobles, and their material world
Week 11 Art of the borderlands: Ordos and Dian
Method of assessment1 essay of 1,500 words =33%/exam = 67%
- Barnes G L, 1993, China, Korea, Japan: The Rise of Civilization in East Asia. London.
- Chang K C, 1986, The Archaeology of Ancient China. 4th edition, New Haven/London.
- Lawton, T. ed., 1991 New Perspectives on Chu Culture during the Eastern Zhou Period. Washington.
- Whitfield and Wang Tao, eds. Exploring China's Past: New Discoveries and Studies in Archaeology and Art. London.