Fundamental Issues in Archaeology

Craft Production and Social Change in Northern China

Authors: Underhill, Anne P.

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  • ISBN 978-1-4613-5172-6
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About this book

This book offers an anthropological analysis of how craft production changed in relation to the development of complex societies in northern China. It focuses on the production and use of food containers-pottery and bronze vessels-during the late prehistoric and early historic periods. A major theme is how production and use of prestige vessels changed in relation to increase in degree of social inequality. The research and writing of this book took place intermittently over a period of several years. When I first outlined the book in 1994, I planned to offer a more limited and descriptive account of social change during the late prehistoric period. In considering the human desire to display status with prestige goods, my initial approach emphasized how the case of northern China was similar to other areas of the world. I began to realize that in order to adequately explain how and why craft production changed in ancient China, it was crucial to consider the belief systems that motivated produc­ tion and use of food containers. Similarly, a striking characteristic of ancient China that I needed to include in the analysis was the preponderance of food containers, rather than other goods, that were buried with the deceased. I decided to investigate the social and ritual uses of food, bever­ ages, and containers during more than one period of Chinese history. Some strong patterns could have emerged during the late prehistoric period.

Reviews

"Underhill's monograph is the first diachronic archaeological study of this region from the anthropological perspective. This work will be of interest to students in Chinese archaeology,m as well as to archaeologists studying the rise of social complexity in other parts of the world."
(Journal of Anthrolopological Research, 59 (2003)

"...in this book, Anne Underhill has undertaken a massive investigation of the textual and archaeological evidence for changes in craft production in relation to the development of complex society between 4000 and 1200 B.C. in northern China. Probably the most meticulously systematic argument in the Chinese archaeological literature, where a rich array of Chinese historical and archaeological as well as worldwide ethnographical data are marshaled in its support."
(Gina L. Barnes, Asian Perspectives, 43:1)


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Craft Production and the Development of Complex Societies in Ancient China

    Underhill, Anne P.

    Pages 1-18

  • Sources of Data on Social and Economic Change during the Late Neolithic Period and Early Bronze Age

    Underhill, Anne P.

    Pages 19-46

  • Food, Craft Production, and Social Inequality

    Underhill, Anne P.

    Pages 47-65

  • The Gift of Food in Ancient China

    Underhill, Anne P.

    Pages 67-87

  • The Dawenkou and Yangshao Periods

    Underhill, Anne P.

    Pages 89-145

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4615-0641-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-306-46771-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-4613-5172-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Craft Production and Social Change in Northern China
Authors
Series Title
Fundamental Issues in Archaeology
Copyright
2002
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4615-0641-6
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4615-0641-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-306-46771-4
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4613-5172-6
Series ISSN
1567-8040
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 346
Topics