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The Cambridge History of Ancient China provides a survey of the cultural history of pre-imperial China. Fourteen leading specialists on early Chinese history and archaeology cover more than one thousand years. There are two chapters for each time-period - Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn, and Warring States: one on institutional history, based on both traditional and palaeographic literature, and one on material culture, based on archaeological evidence. There are also chapters on the Neolithic background, language, intellectual history, relations with Central Asia, and the debts of both the Qin and Han empires to these earlier time-periods. Although written by specialists, this Cambridge history aims to explain and describe pre-imperial China to an audience that will include scholars and students, as well as general readers without specialized knowledge of Chinese history. It can be consulted as a work of reference, or read continuously, alone or as part of The Cambridge History of China series.