Sara Milledge Nelson Routledge, £26.00 ISBN 978-0415513472
Elegantly illustrated and admirably comprehensive in its scope, this synthesis of recent archaeological research into the prehistoric peoples of Donbei – best known in the west as Manchuria – sheds new light on a region rather less discussed than the civilisations of central China. Nelson’s introduction, contrasting the linear Marxist approach to archaeology common in China with Western approaches, provides an enlightening framework for the eight papers that follow. Spanning the Neolithic and Bronze Age, these cover both nomadic groups and early farming communities, as well as unique sites such as the Hongshan ‘Goddess Temple’ with its enigmatic female figurines. Each of the papers is written by Chinese archaeologists working in the region, providing a welcome first-hand overview of ongoing work.
This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 53. Click here to subscribe