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Nationalism and Politics in Chinese Archaeology

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Introduction

Although China looks back at a history of more than a thousand years of antiquarian and proto-archaeological studies, modern field archaeology was only introduced to China in the early twentieth century. In a time of rising nationalism, archaeology played a significant role in the (re-)construction of China’s national history. The search for the cultural origins of the country became the driving force in the development of the discipline in China, exerting remarkable influence on its theoretical research orientations and interpretations of archaeological finds.

From the very beginning, Chinese archaeology has been indicative of changing social and political paradigms: over the course of the twentieth century the many changes in the political landscape of China from the Republican era (1912–1949) to the years of the rule of Mao Zedong毛泽东 (1893/1949–1976) and the tumultuous decade of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) followed by the era of “reform and opening-up” under...

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Grimberg, P. (2019). Nationalism and Politics in Chinese Archaeology. In: Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3366-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3366-1

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