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The Art of Terrestrial Diagrams in Early China


A study of early Chinese maps using interdisciplinary methods. 

This is the first English-language monograph on the early history of maps in China, centering on those found in three tombs that date from the fourth to the second century BCE and constitute the entire known corpus of early Chinese maps (ditu). More than a millennium separates them from the next available map in the early twelfth century CE. Unlike extant studies that draw heavily from the history of cartography, this book offers an alternative perspective by mobilizing methods from art history, archaeology, material culture, religion, and philosophy. It examines the diversity of forms and functions in early Chinese ditu to argue that these pictures did not simply represent natural topography and built environments, but rather made and remade worlds for the living and the dead. Wang explores the multifaceted and multifunctional diagrammatic tradition of rendering space in early China.

256 pages | 46 color plates, 15 halftones | 7 x 10

Art: Ancient and Classical Art, Art--General Studies

Asian Studies: East Asia

Geography: Cartography

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Work of Diagrams
1                      Zhongshan and Plans for Life after Death
2                      Fangmatan and the Bureaucratization of Space
3                      Mawangdui and Earthly Topologies of Design
4                      Mawangdui and the Art of Strategy
Coda: Tunnel Vision

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