Viewing page 6 of 469

This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.

[[underline]]Preface.[[underline]]         ii.

her traditional lore, legends, folk-beliefs, and habits of thought.  I have tried, in brief, to interpret the different problems that we found confronting us, not as things apart, wholly divorced from their natural setting and background; but as integral features of China's slow and in some ways rather retarded cultural evolution in and under the influence of her own particular physical and psychic environment.
     I have also ventured to suggest now and again, in the light of our actual field-experience thus acquired at first hand, those areas and subjects in which future archaeological investigations might most profitably be undertaken.  For in the present embryonic stage of our study of China's long past, such indications may not be entirely amiss, and should at least result in a considerable saving both of time and of effort.
     Further, wherever they have seemed helpful and illuminating, I have introduced various pertinent illustrations culled from other and as yet better known civilizations---those of the Occident and the Near and Middle East especially.  For these, whether Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Indic, Homeric, or Keltic, outwardly dissimilar of aspect though they are, a closer and more penetrating analysis reveals as having all, without exception and like the Chinese civilization also, developed out of one and the same set of fundamental elements, discoveries, and inventions---many of them already in existence at the dawn of recorded history.  (For a reference to a paper of mine dealing with these basic culture-traits and their relatively restricted but nevertheless continuous and strikingly similar distributions in ancient times, see Note at close of this Preface).
    In the transliteration into English of the names of Chinese characters, without closing my eyes to its limitations I have in general followed Sir Thomas Wade's system, as employed by the late Dr. Herbert A.  
[[[end of page]]