Chinese archaeology isn’t just Great Walls, dragon emperors, and fictional Daggers of Xi’an. If you’d like to learn more about real Chinese history and archaeology, you should check out China Central Television’s 20-part documentary series, “Chinese Civilization“.
This series can be found in its entirety on its official CCTV page and on YouTube, and it covers a period of over 5,000 years of the country’s history. The series begins with the Neolithic cultures of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers and works its way through to the Qing Dynasty and the birth of modern China.
The first episode, The Dawn of Civilization (Part 1) takes a look at the origins of Chinese civilization and focuses on the Neolithic Dawenkou (大汶口), Hongshan (红山), Yangshao (仰韶), and Longshan (龙山) cultures of the Central Plain (中原) and north-eastern China. This episode would no doubt be of interest to anyone who enjoyed my article on the Kansu burial urn from Tomb Raider (2013) and would like to learn more about China’s Neolithic communities.
Other relevant episodes include The Bronze Age Part 1 and Part 2, which focuses on the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties as well as the discovery of oracle bones, which feature an early form of written Chinese; The Great Wall Part 1 and Part 2 (this should be self-explanatory); and The Golden Age of Arts Part 1 and Part 2, which offers a brief history of Chinese art and literature.
Look out for more China-related articles in the near future. For now, feel free to check out Tomb Raider China’s three-part article on the Wei Dynasty and the Wei Mirror seen in the Dark Horse Tomb Raider comic series.