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Written on Bamboo and Silk : The Beginnings of Chinese Books and Inscriptions - T.H. Tsien

Written on Bamboo and Silk

The Beginnings of Chinese Books and Inscriptions

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2004
ISBN: 9780226814186
Number Of Pages: 320

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Paleography, which often overlaps with archaeology, deciphers ancient inscriptions and modes of writing to reveal the knowledge and workings of earlier societies. In this now-classic paleographic study of China, Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien traces the development of Chinese writing from the earliest inscriptions to the advent of printing, with specific attention to the tools and media used. Now expanded and updated, this edition includes material that treats the many major documents and ancient Chinese artifacts uncovered over the forty years since the book's first publication. Substantial contributions from Edward L. Shaughnessy, including a new afterword, complete this long-awaited second edition.

Written on Bamboo and Silk—the only book of its kind available in English—has long been considered a landmark in its field. Critical in this regard is the excavation of numerous sites throughout China, where hundreds of thousands of documents written on bamboo and silk—as well as other media—were found, including some of the earliest copies of historical, medical, astronomical, military, and religious texts that are now essential to the study of early Chinese literature, history, and philosophy. Discoveries such as these have made the amount of material evidence on the origins and evolution of communication throughout Chinese history exceedingly broad and rich, and yet Tsien succeeds in tackling it all and building on the earlier classic work that changed the course of study and understanding of Chinese paleography.

Industry Reviews

"Tsien's study is a triumph of modern sinology. . . . Few, if any, of the purposes, techniques, usages, instruments, and materials of Chinese writing have escaped his attention. The result is a volume which is as definitive as extent research data will permit."--Library Journal

List of Illustrations
Foreword to the Second Edition
The Legacy of Early Chinese Records Communication with the Spirits Government
Documents and Archives Recorders, Users, and Custodians
Private Writings and Collections Burning of Books
Restoration of Ancient Works Popularization of Religious Literature
Records on Bones and Shells
Origin and Nature of Bone and Shell Inscriptions
Discovery and Study of Bone Records
Vocabulary and Forms of Shang Writing
Types of Bone Materials and Methods of Inscribing
Content and Arrangement of Oracle
Inscriptions Non-Oracle Bone Records
Inscriptions on Metals and Clay
Nature and Types of Bronze
Inscriptions Styles and Usage of Bronze
Inscriptions Mirror
Inscriptions Numismatic
Inscriptions Inscriptions on Seals and Sealing Clay
Inscriptions on Pottery Vessels
Inscriptions on Bricks and Tiles
Engravings on Stone and Jade Stone
Drums and Monuments Stele, Precipice, and Grave
Inscriptions Confucian Classics on Stone Buddhist and Daoist Writings on Stone
Inscriptions on Jade Origin and Technique of Ink Squeezes
Documents on Bamboo and Wood
Evolution of Book Materials Bamboo
Tablets of the Warring States and Qin Periods
Tablets of Han to Jin Dynasties
Preparation of Bamboo and Wood for Writing Size and Forms of Ancient
Tablets Columns and Styles of Writing Units and Kinds of Ancient Documents System of Binding and Sealing
Silk as Writing Material Origin of Sericulture Date of Using
Silk for Writing Discoveries of Silk Documents
Ancient Paintings on Silk Materials and Format of Silk Books
Special Uses of Silk for Writing
Paper and Paper Manuscripts
Definition and Origin of Paper Cai Lun and Papermaking
Popularity and Spread of Paper
Theories of Western Origin of Paper Discoveries of Early Paper Specimens Paper
Documents from Dunhuang Materials and Methods of Papermaking
Processing and Treatment of Paper System of Paper Rolls
Implements and Tools for Writing
Origin of the Writing Brush Forms of the Brush-Pen
Writing Fluid and Pigments Ink of Lampblack Lacquer and Mineral Ink
Materials and Forms of Ink-Slabs Book Knife as Eraser
Conclusion Types of Writing Materials
Transmission of Ancient Literature
Dates of Different
Inscriptions Development of the Chinese Book
Methods of Writing and Duplication Styles of Chinese Script
Growth of Vocabulary Order of Chinese
Writing Social and Intellectual Development
Afterword: Paleographic Discoveries in China Since 1960
Major Archaeological Discoveries, 1899-2000
Appendix B
List of Abbreviations
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226814186
ISBN-10: 0226814181
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st July 2004
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.3  x 2.52
Weight (kg): 0.6
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

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