Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey (review)

Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey (review) Constance A. Cook. Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey. China Studies 8. Leiden: Brill, 2006. viii, 296 pp. Hardcover $125.00, ISBN 90­04­15312­8. The resting places of the dead are revealing windows into ancient cultures. The ways that a particular culture understands death, treats the dying person, and handles the corpse tell us a great deal about its values. For those of us whose understanding of ancient civilizations comes primarily through their transmitted religious and philosophical literature, a book like Constance Cook's Death in China: The Tale of One Man's Journey serves as a valuable guide to the material culture that constitutes a treasure trove of information regarding those cultures' understandings of death. The focal point of Cook's study is the tomb of Shao Tuo, an official in the Chu court who was buried in 316 B.C.E. The book is an exhaustive inventory, analysis, and interpretation of the content and layout of this tomb, with close attention paid to the texts and art found in the tomb and the arrangement of the tomb itself. Scholars must often think in generalities, and there are many books written about "the ancient Chinese." Over time, however, the people http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey (review)

China Review International, Volume 14 (2) – Nov 28, 2008

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press
ISSN
1527-9367
Publisher site
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Abstract

Constance A. Cook. Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey. China Studies 8. Leiden: Brill, 2006. viii, 296 pp. Hardcover $125.00, ISBN 90­04­15312­8. The resting places of the dead are revealing windows into ancient cultures. The ways that a particular culture understands death, treats the dying person, and handles the corpse tell us a great deal about its values. For those of us whose understanding of ancient civilizations comes primarily through their transmitted religious and philosophical literature, a book like Constance Cook's Death in China: The Tale of One Man's Journey serves as a valuable guide to the material culture that constitutes a treasure trove of information regarding those cultures' understandings of death. The focal point of Cook's study is the tomb of Shao Tuo, an official in the Chu court who was buried in 316 B.C.E. The book is an exhaustive inventory, analysis, and interpretation of the content and layout of this tomb, with close attention paid to the texts and art found in the tomb and the arrangement of the tomb itself. Scholars must often think in generalities, and there are many books written about "the ancient Chinese." Over time, however, the people

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 28, 2008

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