Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Art, Myth, and Ritual

Art, Myth, and Ritual

The Path to Political Authority in Ancient China

K. C. Chang

ISBN 9780674048089

Publication date: 10/15/1988

A leading scholar in the United States on Chinese archaeology challenges long-standing conceptions of the rise of political authority in ancient China. Questioning Marx’s concept of an “Asiatic” mode of production, Wittfogel’s “hydraulic hypothesis,” and cultural-materialist theories on the importance of technology, K. C. Chang builds an impressive counterargument, one which ranges widely from recent archaeological discoveries to studies of mythology, ancient Chinese poetry, and the iconography of Shang food vessels.


  • The general reader as well as the specialist will appreciate the book’s clear discussion of many details, including the description of zoomorphic designs. Chang’s interdisciplinary interpretive approach and well-balanced illustrations make this book an important addition to the study of China’s early civilization.

    —Alfonz Lengyel, Archaeology

Book Details

  • 160 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Press