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Rise of Civilization in East Asia Paperback – July 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0500279748 ISBN-10: 0500279748

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500279748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500279748
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Chris Fung on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
My hat is off to Gina Barnes for undertaking a phenomenally difficult task. The archaeology of China, Korea and Japan from 11,000 BC to 600 AD covers a stupendous time range and an equally stupendous geographic and cultural range.
This book is a very useful summary of the archaeological highlights in three very different areas together with a number of useful (though brief) discussions of some of the important theoretical and political issues involved. Her treatments of the overall trajectories of cultural development in East Asia are interesting and thought-provoking and for students who want to gain a "feel" for East Asian archaeology and the "deep past" of China, Korea, and Japan, this book is a very good start.
Perhaps the most valuable contribution that Barnes makes (apart from the book's obvious appeal as a summary volume) is her attempt to get East Asianists to think beyond national boundaries when looking at the archaeological evidence. While Japan and Korea are not my areas of expertise, it seems to me that her discussion of the Pen/Insular region especially during the period from 300 BC - 600 AD (roughly corresponding to the Yayoi and Kofun periods in Japan and the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in Korea) is the best example of the strengths of an integrated "cultural sphere" approach.
Another useful contribution (paradoxically perhaps) of the book is her demonstration that simplistic notions of "Asian" homogeneity cannot be supported by the archaeological evidence. In fact, as the contents of the book itself makes fairly clear, there is very little unity even within any of the specific national regions until (perhaps) the very end of the period covered by the book.
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