"The Chinese Neolithic is a major achievement. The book presents a coherent and methodologically quite sophisticated vision of the late prehistory of the middle and lower Yellow River basin...Liu's compelling investigation into the precursors of the early Chinese dynasties elicits great admiration." - Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angelos Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
The Yellow River valley of China, during the period ca. 7000-1500, saw the transformation of egalitarian societies into stratified chiefdoms giving rise to early states. This book examines that transformation, emphasising the interplay of many factors affecting these processes, such as climatic fluctuation, population movements, inter-group competition, warfare, and long-distance exchange of valuables. This book contains detailed archaeological data and general theoretical paradigms. It offers a comprehensive reconstruction of developmental trajectories toward social complexity during the Neolithic period, and locates prehistoric China within a global framework of social evolution.