Written on Bamboo & Silk. The Beginnings of Chinese Books & Inscriptions.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (1969),

First Edition, third impression. octavo, tan cloth. (xvi), 233 pp. University of Chicago Press, Item #30103

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. 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. Illustrated with 26 halftones, 4 line drawings, and 3 tables. A very fine, clean copy in a like dust jacket which is not price clipped.

Price: $25.00