Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

How Do We Know about Early China?

Study of the distant past always begins with critical examination of sources. In the present case we might ask, “How do we know about early China?” We are speaking, after all, of a time removed from our own by two or more millennia. The sources upon which we base such knowledge are simply traces of the past, and these traces are largely of two types: written texts and physical objects.1 While physical objects should never be overlooked and give material reality to the written word, texts are...