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Animal Classification in Central China: From the late Neolithic to the early Bronze AgeNingning Dong 2021 © BAR Publishing
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This monograph uses an archaeological approach to decipher folk classification of animals in ancient societies. Ningning Dong collates faunal data from three late Neolithic and early Bronze Age sites in central China and integrates multiple lines of evidence. The analyses demonstrate a folk taxonomy remarkably different from the Linnaean system. The results show that age might have served as a critical categorical filter, particularly in ritual contexts, and that the wild/domesticated dichotomy was established no earlier than the Shang dynasty. This perceptual distinction is unlikely to have been synchronised with the initial occurrence of domestication in the early Neolithic. Animal categories constituted a vital part of a broader classificatory scheme that concerned the organisation of the cosmos as a whole. This book enriches our understanding of animal categories in ancient China and further discusses the tension between etics and emics, language and action, domestic and wild.
- BAR International Series
- Archaeology of East Asia
- 9781407357928 (paper)
- 9781407357935 (ebook)
- BAR Number
- Citable Link
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