Li, Min, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Conquest, Concord, and Consumption: Becoming Shang in East China,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopli
MIN LI, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Conquest, Concord, and Consumption: Becoming Shang in East China,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopli. The grantee's archaeological research at the site of Daxinzhuang (30 ha) investigated the social and cultural transformations during the mid and late Shang period in the Jinan region. Recent excavations at this important mid Shang settlement in eastern China revealed a rapid expansion of the Shang state into this culturally diverse region. Stylistic and technological differences in material culture reveal that changes in social relations resulting from Shang conquest were probably construed and demarcated along existing lines of cultural difference in the community. With a dissertation fieldwork grant (7261) from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Li Min conducted excavation at the site in collaboration with archaeologists from the Shandong University and the Jinan City Institute of Archaeology. The excavation uncovered a dozen large pit features filled with residential debris from the Mid-Shang period residents, as well as evidence for human and animal sacrifice resulting from ritual activities. The excavation was followed by analysis of ceramics and animal bones from context of food consumption and ritual activities. As animals had symbolic and economic importance in the Shang world, the research on patterned variation animal remains in diverse archaeological context informs on status difference, economic condition, and cultural identity at the local society.
Bellwood, Dr. Peter Stafford, Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid '19th Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association,' 2009, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi, in collaboration with Dr. Giang Hai Nguyen
'The 19th Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association'
November 29-December 5, 2009, Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, Hanoi, Vietnam
Organizers: Peter Bellwood (Australian National University) and Giang Hai Nguyen (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
A total of 650 people attended the conference, representing about 30 countries in the Indo- Pacific region, as well as Europe and North America. Forty-nine individual sessions were held concurrently in five seminar rooms, with over 400 papers were presented. The conference attracted many younger students from Indo-Pacific countries who were able to meet and discuss their research with peers from countries outside the region. A full program and other details can be found at http://arts.anu.edu.au/arcworld/ippa/19thcongress.htm. The sessions were grouped into four major themes: 1) Pleistocene culture and evolution; 2) the archaeological record during the Holocene (geographical or chronological foci); 3) thematic or disciplinary (comparative, social, biological, environmental) foci; and 4) themes related to heritage management, education, and the development of archaeology as a discipline. Convenors have been asked to collect papers for editing, refereeing and publication in the Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association.
Evans, Dr. Damian Harold, U. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia - To aid research and writing on 'Redefining Angkor: The Landscape Archaeology of Southeast Asia's Great 'Hydraulic City'' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary Abstract: This project involves the development and publication of a monograph tentatively titled 'Redefining Angkor: The landscape archaeology of Southeast Asia's great 'Hydraulic City''. For the past decade the author has been responsible for archaeological mapping at the medieval city of Angkor, in Cambodia, using field surveys and the analysis of a diverse range of remote sensing datasets. The work has revealed the existence of an extended settlement complex stretching far beyond the main temples, as well as a vast and intricate water management system. The emergence of a comprehensive picture of settlement structure at Angkor creates the opportunity to rigorously evaluate competing theories of Angkor's subsistence, growth and decline for the first time. The implications of the new data for the 'hydraulic city' hypothesis, in which the collapse of the water control system is held to be a cause of Angkor's decline, are covered in detail. Alternative interpretations are considered, and the mapping activities are located within the overall history of archaeological mapping and remote sensing at Angkor. The work will develop new perspectives on the nature of early urban centres in Southeast Asia, which have traditionally been considered to be neatly defined spaces that developed from the circular moated sites of prehistory to the walled cities of the medieval era. In fact, the morphology of the dispersed, low-density urban complexes of that period, of which Angkor is the largest, suggest a clear affinity with the modern conurbations of the late twentieth century in which a peri-urban fringe extends far beyond the well-defined urban core.
Wang, Yiru, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'The Origins of Sheep and Goats Domestication in Western China,' supervised by Dr. Graeme Barker
Preliminary abstract: The origin of Chinese domestic sheep and goats has long been an issue needs to be clarified. Since abundant Caprine remains do not appear in China until 4,000 B.P., and the earliest domestic sheep/goat in the world was from West Asia in around 10,000 B.P., it was assumed that sheep and goats were not originally domesticated in China, but came from the west as domestic animals. Considering the modern domestic Tibetan type sheep in western China are those most suitable for the local environment, similar to the local argali sheep, and mtDNA analysis suggest Chinese domestic sheep have a native inherence and likely to have a geographic independent domestication, my hypothesis is that the origins of caprine domestication in China may not be simply a spreading event, but have incorporated the local wild sheep during the process. It may represent a complex continuum of interactions between different populations and animals in the unique ecological and social context of western China. The current zooarchaeological research in China has basic problem in taxa identification and recognizing domestication. Several closely related Caprinae species with overlaping distributions cannot be separated based on the available expertise. I propose to have a detailed and systematic osteomorphology and osteometric study for the Caprinaes species distribute in western China and the different Ovis species distribute in Eurasia based on modern samples. Together with traditional zooarchaeological methods and with a focus of morphmetric study, a research on the first hand archaeological materials from 4 sites ranging 1,0000-3,5000 BP in Qinghai and Gansu province would shed lights on the nature of the caprine domestication in western China.
Schepartz, Dr. Lynne A., U. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH - To aid conference on Asia and the Middle Pleistocene in global perspective, 2001, East-West Center, Manoa, Hawaii, in collaboration with Dr. Sari Miller-Antonio
Honeychurch, Dr. Williams, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - To aid research and writing on 'Not of Place but of Path: Inner Asia and the Spatial Politics of Empire' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. WILLIAM HONEYCHURCH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in May 2005 to aid research and writing on 'Not of Place but of Path: Inner Asia and the Spatial Politics of Empire.' The Eurasian steppe is often described as a territory of pathways, movement, interaction, and exchange. How these factors underwrote the long-term development of political traditions, techniques, and social relations that eventually produced some of the largest and most dynamic imperial states ever known, is a central question explored in this monograph project. Using archaeological data from the Egiin Gol valley in north central Mongolia, long-term trends in local landscape organization are examined in order to understand the changing sources of political finance and control on the steppe. The great size of steppe polities and their emphasis on horse based transport created political system reliant on vast spatial relationships. This 'spatial reach' was matched by internal methods of centralized integration. As polity size and spatial reach expanded over time and across different polities, increasing emphasis was placed upon the manipulation of mobility, its networks, and infrastructure for political ends. This monograph develops and examines the idea of a distinctive kind of 'politics for a mobile set1ing' and uses the concept to compare examples of large-scale imperial polities across different cultural and chronological settings.
Brite, Elizabeth Baker, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Reconstitution of Knowledge After Political Collapse: Evidence from the Production of Pottery in Ancient Khorezm, Uzbekistan,' supervised by Dr. Monica Louise Smith
ELIZABETH BAKER BRITE, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'The Reconstitution of Knowledge after Political Collapse: Evidence from the Production of Pottery in Ancient Khorezm, Uzbekistan,' supervised by Dr. Monica L. Smith. The oasis of Khorezm in modern Uzbekistan is subject to instability of two kinds. As a region dependent on an unstable water system in an arid desert, Khorezm has experienced continual environmental perturbations associated with unpredictable changes in local hydrology. Patterns of political consolidation and collapse are also well documented in the archaeological and historical records of Khorezm, and tend to correlate generally with these ecosystem dynamics over time. A pertinent question emerges as to how populations in this region have historically sustained these repeated instances of collapse, and managed to maintain a resilient economy in such volatile circumstances. To address this question, archaeological research was conducted at the site of Kara-tepe in northwestern Uzbekistan to examine a period of collapse in the 4th -7th centuries A.D. The ceramic assemblage from Kara-tepe was analyzed and compared to materials from other sites to evaluate how the sharing of production knowledge changed throughout the crisis. This analysis was combined with new information on subsistence and settlement gathered from the excavations at Kara-tepe, to provide a complex picture of adaptive processes after collapse. Preliminary findings suggest that potters maintained external communication links over time, in spite of dramatic changes in the political landscape. In addition, it appears that inhabitants at Kara-tepe made unexpected, potentially deleterious trade-offs in the subsistence regime in order to provide continued support to the craft goods economy.
Brite, Elizabeth B., and John M. Marston. 2013. Environmental Change, Agricultural Innovation, and the Spread of Cotton Agriculture in the Old World. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32(1):39-53.
Lewis, Dr. Helen, U. College Dublin, Dublin, UK - To aid '14th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists (EurASEAA),' 2012, U. College Dublin
'European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists 14th Int'l Conference (EURASEAA14)'
September 18-21, 2013, Dublin, Ireland
Organizer: Dr. Helen Lewis (U. College Dublin)
EurASEAA14 was organized by University College Dublin School of Archaeology, bringing together over 200 archaeologists, art historians, and philologists studying Southeast Asia's past. Panels on topics of interest to Southeast Asian regional archaeology (including archaeobotany, human bioarchaeology, epigraphy, and mansucripts) were organized around the theme of 'Science, Archaeology and Heritage in Southeast Asia.' Special focus was given to Southeast Asian ceramics, building on momentum from an international workshop hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the Smithsonian Institution in 2010, as well as to Khmer archaeology, with additional subregional panels related to important 'peripheries,' 'crossroads' or 'boundaries' - Taiwan, Myanmar and Northeast India. Funding from Wenner-Gren supported twenty-one Southeast and South Asian scholars to attend and present conference papers.
Spengler, Dr. Robert N., Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid workshop on 'Introduction & Intensification of Agriculture in Central Eurasia: Exception to rule or exception that proves rule?,' 2015, Berlin, Germany, in collaboration with Dr. Mayke Wagner
Preliminary abstract: Inner Asia is an anomaly in discourse surrounding social complexity; the early Iron Age is marked by a demographic transition, long believed to be fueled by increased pastoralism. In the rest of the world, agriculture is accepted as a cornerstone to the development of social hierarchy and population growth. One of the least studied parts of the world, in terms of agricultural origins and spread, is also the region that breaks down the classical model of social development -- the exception to the rule. This proposed workshop will bring together scholars from across Europe, Asia, and North America; many of whom would normally not have the opportunity to discuss their mutual research interests in person. These scholars all study the introduction of agriculture and associated social phenomena, such as increased social complexity and demographic shifts; however, they approach these questions with different methodologies, including isotope studies, archaeobotany, palynology, genetics, and the study of archaeological material culture. The ultimate goal of this conference is to pool an international group of scholars to discuss the growing realm of paleoeconomic data coming out of Central Eurasia; these data do not fit the long-held models of economy in the region and demand that a new approach be taken.
Cleghorn, Naomi E., State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid a 'Zooarchaeological Analysis of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of Mezmaiskaya Cave, Northwestern Caucasus, Russia,' supervised by Dr. Curtis Marean
NAOMI E. CLEGHORN, while a student at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, received funding in April 2001 to aid an analysis of faunal material from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic strata of Mezmaiskaya Cave in Russia's northwestern Caucasus Mountains, under the supervision of Dr. Curtis Marean. The stratigraphy of Mezmaiskaya Cave preserves a record of frequent hominid occupation over a relatively long span of the Paleolithic-from more than 45,000 years ago to 28,000 years ago-covering the transition from a Neanderthal-dominated to a Homo sapiens-dominated landscape. Faunal skeletal remains are abundant and well preserved throughout the site. Cleghorn collected a broad range of data from specimens from the Middle Paleolithic levels of the site, especially from the 1995 and 1997 assemblages, which came from contexts of relatively fine stratification. She also collected data for the entire sample of Upper Paleolithic faunal material available at the time. Altogether, data from nearly seventeen thousand bone fragments and teeth enabled her to analyze pre- and post-depositional processes of destruction as well as evidence of hominid prey choice, transport, and butchery decisions. Cleghorn's goal was to use a taphonomic approach to test the idea that Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids responded in significantly different ways to subsistence challenges. Preliminary analysis showed some evidence of change in faunal accumulation between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Interestingly, the more dramatic shifts may have occurred within the late Middle Paleolithic. Ultimately, Cleghorn planned to test current models of the subsistence behavior of Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids.