Chinese archaeology isn’t just Great Walls, dragon emperors, and fictional Daggers of Xi’an. If you’d like to learn more about real Chinese history and archaeology, you should check out China Central Television’s 20-part documentary series, “Chinese Civilization“.
This series, which can be found in its entirety on its official CCTV page and on Youtube, covers a period of over 5,000 years of the country’s history, starting with the Neolithic cultures of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers and working its way through to the Qing Dynasty and birth of modern China.
The first episode, The Dawn of Civilization (Part 1), (see the video below) takes a look at the origins of Chinese civilization and focuses on the Neolithic Dawenkou (大汶口), Hongshan (红山), Yangshao (仰韶) and Longshan (龙山) cultures of the Central Plain (中原) and north-eastern China.
Other noteworthy episodes include The Bronze Age Part 1 and Part 2 (which focuses on the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties as well as the discovery of oracle bones, which feature an early form of written Chinese), The Great Wall Part 1 and Part 2 (this is self-explanatory), and The Golden Age of Arts Part 1 and Part 2 (a brief history of Chinese art and literature).
Note: This blog post is a reworking of a post I wrote for an older, now defunct, blog of mine. The links should still be active but if you encounter any dead links, please let me know by leaving a comment below.
- Arte-Factual: Kansu Burial Urn (Tomb Raider 2013)
- Photo: The Great Wall of China
- The First Lady of Chinese Archaeology