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State Formation in East Asia 1a

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State Formation in East Asia
Part 1: State Formation Theory
What is a state?
Social Evolution
Static Models:
Bandпѓ Tribeпѓ Chiefdomпѓ State
Search for “Prime Movers”
Multivariate Models
Part 1: State Formation Theory
First-generation States
Pristine versus Secondary
East Asian Cases
China, Korea, Japan
(modern names used as convention)
Part 2: State Formation in China
Historiography and Archaeology
History: Xia, Shang and Zhou
Zhou conquered Shang circa 1046 BC
Zhou ruler claimed descent from earlier
“Xia” polity
Did Xia exist?
Erlitou Culture (ca. 1900-1500 BC)
Longshan Neolithic Culture replaced in Yanshi
region by Erlitou Bronze culture.
Ceramic styles: variety пѓ uniformity
Prestige goods: jade пѓ bronze
Sites Associated with Erlitou Culture
Control of bronze and salt of great concern to
Erlitou state
Bronze requires supplies of copper, tin and lead.
Erlitou derived copper and tin from Yangzi basin;
Salt derived from southern Shanxi.
Erlitou Site
Near Yanshi on the Luo River; site discovered 1959.
2 palace structures on rammed earth platforms.
Erlitou Site
Erlitou Site
Erlitou Site
Erlitou Site
Burials show social distinctions - stratification
Large-scale construction projects
Distribution control over bronze and salt
Craft specialization
Population increase
Indications of formation of state by 1800 BC
Erlitou State
Urban sites placed near core region
and in distant locations
Dongxiafeng in southern Shanxi
Panlongcheng in Yangzi River basin
Served as hubs for transport of resources to core
Placement of outposts related to location of
material resources desired by core region
Erlitou State
State formation possibly catalyzed by ritual concerns,
and/or charismatic leadership
Expansion and control
propelled by resource extraction,
especially in metals and salt
Does Erlitou = Xia
(maybe; maybe not)
But it is the first state to appear in central China
Erligang Culture
(circa 1600 – 1400 BC)
Culture named after type site near Zhengzhou.
Major urban sites in core include walled cities
at Zhengzhou and Yanshi.
Yanshi appeared in late Erlitou period after
decline of Erlitou site; it was a walled city with
palace structures;
Erlitou styles replaced by new types.
Sites Associated with Erligang Culture
Erligang Culture
Zhengzhou – center of Erligang polity
Large walled city with bronze production facilities
(production of ritual bronzes shifted to Zhengzhou)
After 1400 BC the city declined,
political center shifted to
Xiaoshuangqiao 20 km to northwest
Erligang Polity
Built on and expanded foundation laid by Erlitou.
Expanded geographically, especially into Yangzi basin;
sought continuous extraction of resources
Zhikaigou in north; Panlongcheng in south;
Served as distant hubs for redistribution
As in Erlitou, bronze was processed in outlying outposts,
but production of ritual bronzes was limited
to the political center.
Shang and Zhou
Some say Erlitou = Xia
Some say Erligang = early Shang
Anyang = late Shang
Zhou conquered Shang in 1046 BC
Later historical record is more accurate,
but still problematic
State Formation in China
What prompted formation of Erlitou state?
Peer interaction? Ritual concerns?
State developed on basis of control over metal and salt;
Monopoly of production/distribution of ritual bronzes.
In Erligang period political core shifted to Zhengzhou,
But this polity expanded on Erlitou model.
Together they represent the formation and development
of the first state in what is now China.
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