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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines China's oldest cities from the earliest evidence of urbanism until the country's reunification under the Sui dynasty (589–618). Covering a period of six millennia, the discussion is divided into five periods based on technological or political developments: Pre-Bronze Age, Bronze Age, Warring States, First Empires, and Period of Disunion. It shows that by the mid-third millennium bce China had experienced an urban revolution: numerous cities appeared often replete with large walled areas, ruling elites, and largely agricultural resources, though with some artisan workshops.

Keywords: ancient China, ancient cities, Chinese cities, urbanism, urbanization, Sui dynasty

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