Kwang-chih Chang (Chinese: 張光直; pinyin: Zhāng Guāngzhí; 1931
– January 3, 2001), commonly known as K.C. Chang, was a
Chinese-American archaeologist and sinologist. He was the John E.
Hudson Professor of archaeology at Harvard University, Vice-President
of the Academia Sinica, and a curator at the Peabody Museum of
Archaeology and Ethnology. He helped to bring modern, western methods
of archaeology to the study of ancient Chinese history. He also
introduced new discoveries in Chinese archaeology to western audiences
by translating works from Chinese to English. He pioneered the study
of Taiwanese archaeology, encouraged multi-disciplinal anthropological
archaeological research, and urged archaeologists to conceive of East
Asian prehistory (China, Korea, and Japan) as a pluralistic whole.
1 Early life
3 Selected works
7 External links
Chang's paternal grandfather was a farmer in Taiwan. His father, Chang
Wo-chün (張我軍), moved to
Beijing in 1921 to pursue his
education, where he met and married K.C. Chang's mother. His father
later became a professor of
Japanese literature and language at Peking
University and also established some fame as a leading literary
figure. Born in
Beijing as the second son in a family of four
children, he moved to Taiwan with his family in 1946; the family's
eldest son remained in mainland China. Because of that association,
the 17-year-old Chang spent a year in prison during Taiwan's White
He enrolled in
National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University in 1950, where he studied
anthropology and archaeology under Li Ji. He chose archaeology because
"it is fun". He graduated in 1954 and moved to the United States to
pursue his graduate studies at Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D
in 1960; his dissertation was entitled Prehistoric Settlements in
China: A Study in Archaeological Method and Theory.
Chang began his teaching career in the Anthropology Department at Yale
University and later became the chair of the department. In 1977, he
returned to Harvard to chair its Department of Anthropology. He
became a member of the
United States National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences in
1979 and the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology at Harvard in
1984. He was a Vice-President of Taiwan's
Academia Sinica from 1994 to
1996. He trained many students over the years including
distinguished archaeologists such as Bruce Trigger, Richard J.
Pearson, Choi Mong-lyong, and Li Liu.
Chang's main research interests included Chinese prehistory,
archaeological theory, settlement archaeology, shamanism, Bronze Age
society, and the development of and interaction between regional
archaeological cultures in China.
He died in 2001 from complications due to Parkinson's disease. Most of
his books of personal research are preserved in the International
Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History, Boston
In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Chang,
WorldCat encompasses more than 100 works in more than 200
publications in 9 languages and nore than 9000 library holdings.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
The Archaeology of Ancient
China (1963), 2nd ed. (1968), 3rd ed.
(1977), 4th ed. (1986)
Rethinking Archaeology (1967)
Settlement Archaeology (1968)
Fengpitou, Tapenkeng, and the Prehistory of Taiwan (1969)
Early Chinese Civilization: Anthropological Perspectives (1976)
Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
Shang Civilization (1980)
The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of
Civilization to 221 BC (1999)
"The Chinese Bronze Age: A Modern Synthesis", in Fong, Wen, ed.
(1980). The great bronze age of China: an exhibition from the People's
Republic of China. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
pp. 35–50. ISBN 0-87099-226-0.
Art, Myth and Ritual: the Path to Political Authority in Ancient China
"The Rise of Kings and the Formation of City-states", in Allan, Sarah,
ed. (2002). The Formation of Chinese Civilization: an archaeological
Yale University Press. pp. 125–139.
Association for Asian Studies (AAS), 1996 Award for Distinguished
Contributions to Asian Studies
Kang-i Sun Chang (2006). Journey Through the White Terror. Taipei:
National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University Press. pp. 59–60.
^ a b Keightley (2001), p. 619.
^ "International Center for East Asian Archaeology & Cultural
History Boston University". www.bu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
^ Chang, Kwang-chih,
^ Wilson, Jon. "AAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Asian
Association for Asian Studies (AAS). Archived from the
original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
Ferrie, Helke (1995). "A Conversation With K. C. Chang". Current
Anthropology. 36 (2): 307–325. doi:10.2307/2744116.
Keightley, David N. (2001). "Kwang-Chih Chang (1931–2001)". The
Journal of Asian Studies. 60 (02): 619–621.
doi:10.1017/S0021911800009396. JSTOR 2659775.
Short Biography with a link to K.C. Chang's complete bibliography
Murowchick, Robert E. (2012). Kwang-Chih Chang 1931-2001 (PDF).
National Academy of Sciences.
ISNI: 0000 0001 0879 3437
BNF: cb120263244 (data)