Report on the Excavation of Liye
Changsha: Yuelu Publishing House, 2006. First edition. Quarto. , 38, 758pp. Several thousand text illustrations and diagrams; double suite folding color panomora (recto and verso), 63 color photo plates, 131 monochrome photo plates. Publisher’s medium brown faux leather, with darker brown stamped lettering; map vignette at rear cover. Light scuffing to covers, else a fine copy of a handsomely produced, and difficult to find, work.
First Edition of this detailed and generously illustrated survey issued by the Hunan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. Among the most remakable artifacts excavated from the site of Liye in Hunan province are China’s earliest household registers. Recovered from amongst a massive collection of 37,000 inscribed bamboo and wooden strips dating from the Qin dynasty (222 BCE - 208 BCE), they are the first evidence ever discovered to testify to the household registration system during this period. The cache of inscribed strips comprise a full range of government documents of Qianling Xian (county), Dongting Jun (prefecture), relating to population management, commerce, taxes, criminal justice, and military affairs; all together they provide massive documentation of the establishment of Chinese feudal society. Color plates illustrating several dozen representative samples are provided. Text in Chinese, with a 6-page abstract in English.
Provenance: Dated (2007.5.10; presentation?) inscription in Chinese noting a "Mr. Agnew" in Latin characters at title page. Item #51037