Chariots in Early China

Origins, cultural interaction, and identity

Hsiao-yun Wu


This book concerns the ways in which the adaption of a steppe innovation, the horse-drawn chariot, in Chinese society during the 12th – 3rd century BCE contributed profoundly to the development of Chinese political and social value. The importance of thesteppe driving skill in warfare, and political and ritual ceremonies in Chinese society not only brought a number of steppe people to serve in Chinese states, but also largely transformed Chinese social, political, and burial practices, and value systems. These early uses were reinterpreted in later periods and still have their influence today.