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The Origins and Development of Urbanization in Early China: A Comparative Perspective


Urbanism Symposium 2015

April 20-22, Stanford Archaeology Center Building 500


Urbanism has been an important feature of Chinese civilization for more than four thousand years, and recent archaeological discoveries have greatly enriched our knowledge of its origins and developments. In order to provide a platform for international scholarly exchange on this important topic, Stanford Archaeology Center hosted a symposium titled “The Origins and Development of Urbanization in Early China: A Comparative Perspective” on April 20-22.


This symposium brought together more than twenty scholars from the US, China, Canada, and Australia to present new findings and discuss ideas. The presentations included topics on the origins, appearance, function and dynamics of urban centers from Late Neolithic to the Zhou dynasty in China (3000-200 BC).  Scholars working on other parts of the world also participated in the discussion to place Chinese urbanization within a cross-cultural comparative perspective. The symposium focused on four topics: (1) The emergence of Neolithic cities; (2) the development of cities in the early Bronze Age; (3) traditions and innovations; and (4) theorizing urbanism and comparison with Old and New World cities.



The symposium was co-sponsored by the Stanford Archaeology Center, Confucius Institute of the Department of East Asian languages and Cultures at Stanford University, and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.

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