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New Sinology is vitally engaged with the Other China. A robust engagement with contemporary China and indeed with the Sinophone world in all of its complexity, be it local, regional or global. It affirms a conversation and intermingling that also emphasizes strong scholastic underpinnings in both the classical and modern Chinese language and studies, at the same time as encouraging an ecumenical attitude in relation to a rich variety of approaches and disciplines, whether they be mainly empirical or more theoretically inflected.

It is an approach to the Chinese and Sinophone world that pays due accord to the demands of academic disciplines while essaying a more holistic understanding relevant not only to academics, but also to a wider, engaged public. Early Christian missionaries in their attempts to sway Ming subjects, noble and common alike, familiarised themselves with indigenous traditions of thought, history, literature and scholarship, which were known as Hanxue , the accumulated body of learning that predated the Christian era and which formed the basis for rulership, culture and thought in Ming times.

After all, Chinese were the first Sinologists. Western Sinology developed as a broad-based attempt to understanding and engage meaningfully with Chinese ways of thinking about and ordering reality, with the hope also of influencing China and its ruling elite. In reality, from the nineteenth century, the study of China has often been intimately related to economic, political and cultural agendas.

As China has reformed economically and revitalised intellectual and cultural agendas since the s, National Learning has enjoyed a widespread revival and massive state funding. To what extent did new concepts introduced into China from the mid-to late th century become integrated into the everyday lives of poorer urbanites and lower-level local elites?

What can an investigation of these questions tell us about the ways knowledge was transmitted, and the degree of epistemological, social, and cultural integration in this period?

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It searches for the Chinese common reader in three distinct places: in the materiality of cheaply produced texts-books as objects; in the usable-and wondrous-information packaged in their crowded pages—texts as meaning; and in the spaces where this knowledge was consumed—reading as cultural practice. Upper Cave Man may have used this bone needle to sew animal skins into clothes. They made ornaments by stringing together animal teeth drilled with holes, clam shells, and small stone beads. Upper Cave Man gradually expanded their scope of activity. They arrived at distant places along rivers or coastlines.

The social unit in which Upper Cave Man lived was a clan linked by genealogy.


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Each clan consisted of several dozen persons descended from a common ancestor. There are many legends about primitive humans in ancient books.


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A talented man called Youchaoshi later taught people to build nests in trees with branches to shelter from wind and rain and to be safe from the attack of wild animals. Primitive Culture The earth is often compared to a huge historical book. The fossils and relics of ancient creatures that have remained in the rock formation and soil strata are secret codes recording the evolution of life on earth. Haidai Area The Dawenkou culture discovered in the Haidai area1 dates back 4,—5, years ago.

The primitive residents here lived during the period of the patrilineal clan commune. Farming was the main activity. Handicraft art had seen much development: these people could make bronzeware and white and black pottery. Archaeologists found more than pieces of pottery and jadeware in some tombs at the Dawenkou site, but only one or two items or nothing at all in other tombs.

This suggested that with the development of production, the notion of private propAn area surrounded by the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, Mt. Tai, and the Huai River. Besides the Dawenkou site, archaeologists also discovered the same type of cultural relic sites elsewhere in Shandong, northern Jiangsu, and Anhui, and named this group of Neolithic communities the Dawenkou Culture.

In , in Longshan town, Licheng City, Shandong Province, the Longshan Cultural sites dating from over 4, years ago were discovered. Archaeologists unearthed Black pottery some farming tools such as stone and clam sickles, and daily items such as stemmed cups and wine jars. Grey, black, and white pottery made of Kaolin or porcelain clay were also unearthed.

In addition, archaeologists also discovered the Beixin Culture in Haidai Area. Grey pottery Central Plains In this area, archaeologists discovered a Neolithic relic site of the Peiligang Culture, dating back to about 7, years ago, and providing clues for research on the origins of the Yangshao Culture, a matrilineal society that dates from 7,—5, years ago.

There were layers of grain husks and cabbage seeds or mustard seeds well preserved in pottery jars. The art of pottery achieved great advances during this period. Pottery items such as urns, basins, bowls, and bottles were produced using washed clay; cooking vessels such as jars, stoves, and pots were made of clay mixed with sand. Some items were painted with simple symbols that might be the early forms of Chinese characters. The remains that date back to 6, years ago cover an area of around 50, m2. In the north of the site is a communal burial area, in the south the living area, while in the northeast there are the remains of a pottery kiln.

Inside the living area there was a large rectangular house seemingly for public use, around which some round or square houses were built as residences. The residential area is surrounded by a moat. The houses were supported by timber poles and had steeply pitched thatched roofs.

Inside the house, the ground was very compact and smooth.

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A stove was placed in the middle of the house for cooking, lighting, and heating. The sleeping area was slightly raised above ground level. The early peoples in China were among some of the earliest to cultivate millet. The Banpo people cultivated millet and vegetables such as cabbage and mustard leaf. They built fences within their settlements to keep domesticated dogs and pigs.

The Banpo people widely used stone tools, such as stone axes, shovels, sickles or knives, and millstones. At Banpo, many farming tools were excavated, and more than two hundred cellars were discovered for storing food, tools, and daily necessities.

The people began to wear sack clothing. These details suggest that the Banpo people lived a primarily farming life. Pots were clearly in daily use among the Banpo people. Much earthenware was excavated at Banpo, which was uniformly red and decorated with a black pigment, known as color pottery. In the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, archeologists found ancient sites of clan tribes at Hemudu, Majiaban, Songze, and Liangzhu. The Hemudu site proved to be around 5,—7, years old.

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The Hemudu Culture is named after the place in A funerary urn Yuyao of Zhejiang, where the site was found. The ancient residents here mostly used stone tools but also made animal bone tools.

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At the Hemudu site, many bone shovels made from the scapula of animals such as buffaloes were excavated. At Hemudu, a large pile of rice and stalks were discovered, evidencing that these people were rice farmers. They also raised livestock such as pigs, dogs, and buffalo.

The Hemudu community was located in southern China, where rivers and lakes are densely distributed and the climate is humid and hot. The houses were built on stilts, a complex style for structures that represents the skills and knowledge of the Hemudu community in architecture. They laid thick piles in the earth as the base of the house, set beams on top of these piles, and secured wooden boards on them.

They used wooden planks as walls and set up railings along the house. The house built on stilts was well ventilated and moisture-proof. What was more, the residents knew how to dig and use wells.

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To prevent a sudden collapse, the four sides of the wells were supported by wooden stakes and square frames. A pavilion was built above the wells as a shelter from the rain. It appeared in the same period or a little later than the Longshan Culture and seemed to follow a patriarchal social order.

Besides some cultural relics excavated at Liangzhu that are of the same type as the Longshan Culture, archaeologists also discovered bamboo-weaving products, suggesting the inhabitants here had made some advances in their handicraft arts. The Qujialing culture dates back to more than 4, years ago.

The excavated cultural relics were mostly similar to those of Longshan. Along the upstream areas of the Yangtze River, a series of Neolithic sites were discovered, represented by the site at Daxi. Their pottery skills reached a fairly high standard: the artisans in this period developed unique decorations and shapes. In the late s, many valuable Bashu bronze pieces, particularly bronze tree relics were excavated at the Sanxingdui Site.

In northern China, the vast area from the northern part of northeast China to Inner Mongolia and Ningxia belongs to the northern grasslands. Over 7, primitive cultural sites were discovered across the vast lands of China. Judging by the excavated Neolithic relics, it is clear that from the matrilineal clan society to the late period of the patrilineal clan society, communal societies later developed into those with private property and a polarization between rich and poor.

Later there came social classes and class oppression. Accordingly, the leadership of clan tribes by election was replaced by the inheritance of power and the institutions of the clan communal systems turned into useful tools for controlling the populace. The slavery era was looming.

The primitive clan communal system that had lasted for tens of thousands of years would eventually come to an end. Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou dynasties saw the establishment and development of a Chinese slave society. In this era, great leaps were made in social economy and culture, and the brilliant Bronze Age civilization was represented by bronze work, oracle bone scripts, and a rites system. The Western Zhou Dynasty practiced the patriarchal clan enfeoffment system, melting the ties of blood into state ruling, which played an important role in binding clans, stabilizing the hierarchical order, and maintaining national unity.

Yu the Great Taming the Flood It is said that during the ruling period of Yao and Shun, it rained continuously for a very long time. Yao assigned Gun to tame the raging waters. Gun had built earthen dikes all over the land in the hope of containing the waters, which turned out to be a miserable failure. Yu worked very hard. He did not enter the home even when his wife was in labor. He led the workers to dig the new river channels, to serve both as outlets for the torrential waters and irrigation conduits for distant farmlands. After he became the leader, Yu the Great organized people to further develop agricultural production.