Abstract

The writings by Chinese historians and archeologists about the origins of Chinese civilization in the past century have transitioned from the old construct of “unitary plurality,” or a shared assumption of the mythical Huangdi (the Yellow Emperor) as the progenitor of the only civilization in the land of Huaxia (proto China) while admitting its coexistence with other heterogeneous but inferior cultures, to the new paradigm of “plural unity” or a consensus on Huaxia's interaction with all other cultures to form a unitary Chinese civilization that has lasted into the twenty-first century. Substantiated by the archeological findings of the twentieth century, this transition was ultimately propelled by three interweaving forces, namely, Chinese researchers' ideological undertakings, their factional struggle for academic supremacy, and commitment to local interest and identity.

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