Hartley, Charles Wilbur, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Crafting the State: Community, Pottery, and Political Culture in the Luoyang Basin, North China, 3000-1500 BCE,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith
CHARLES W. HARTLEY, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received an award in October 2008 to aid research on 'Crafting the State: Community, Pottery, and Political Culture in the Luoyang Basin, North China, 3000-1500 BCE,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. This project focused on a larger sample from the Huizui site rather than splitting effort among five sites as originally planned, which created a statistically richer sample. The core of the project and the research questions remain targeted toward: 1) improving our understanding of potting techniques and pottery technology in the Chinese neolithic and early bronze periods; and 2) improving our understanding of the role that seemingly mundane objects like pots play in the social and political development of human society. The change in focus opened up new possibilities for the project. Most importantly, the level of descriptive detail accomplished in terms of technical and stylistic analysis holds promise for a much deeper understanding of, one the one hand, the technological capabilities of this society, and on the other hand, the social and political currents during the periods covered in the study. Each of these possibilities make a significant contribution to the field of Chinese archaeology in particular by improving our understanding of ceramic technology and technical pathways, but also contribute to the field of archaeology in general by improving our understanding of subjective materiality and the interplay between object-constituted society and human-constituted materiality.
Nelson, Dr. Sarah M, U. of Denver, Denver, CO; and Guo, Dashun, Liaoning Province Archaeological Research Instit., Shenyang, China - To aid international collaboration on the archaeological survey of Niuheliang
DR. SARAH M. NELSON, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, and PROF. GUO DASHUN, Liaoning Province Archaeological Research Institute, Shenyang, China, received a renewal of their International Collaborative Research Grant in December 2001 to aid an archaeological survey of Niuheliang site, Liaoning, China. Work at the site of Niuheliang in May and June 2002 centered on an electromagnetic survey (similar to ground-penetrating radar [GPR], but using magnetic fields instead of radar). This non-intrusive technique was used to help understand the raised area with rock walls or edges called the 'Platform' by the Chinese archeologists. This area is on a gentle slope above the 'Nushenmiao' the Goddess Temple, and is important because it must have been related to the ritual activities that are implied by the other discoveries here. An instrument called a GEM was used to produce four different readings for each point on the grid. Analysis of each plot indicated several likely features. The clearest are a large rectangular area which was identified directly north of the Goddess Temple, and a linear feature which may be a road or path, which trends north-northeast through the upper section. The visible rock alignments show up clearly in the grids, but do not mask other features. These anomalies will be probed in consultation with the Chinese crew from the Liaoning Province Archaeological Research Institute.
Valentine, Dr. Benjamin, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid engaged activities on 'Fostering Multi-Vocal and Interdisciplinary Approaches in Indian Archaeology Through Broader Engagements with Indus Civilization Migration,' 2014, India
Preliminary abstract: I propose to share the results and methods of my Wenner-Gren funded isotopic research on Indus Civilization migration through a series of lectures with the Indian public, government and academic archaeologists, and experts in biogeochemistry. Talks at major public venues and the research institutions of my colleagues in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Kolkata will promote new theoretical and technical approaches to understanding ancient urban South Asian mobility. This project is a direct outgrowth of my earlier work predicated on the twin goals of encouraging more nuanced interpretations of migration in Indian archaeology and helping to build domestic programs of archaeological isotope analysis. Individual life histories of ancient mobility inferred from isotope analysis serve as the linchpin in my efforts to foster multi-vocal and interdisciplinary engagements with the Indian past.
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.
Honeychurch, Dr. William, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Amartuvshin, Chunag, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - To aid collaborative research on early Iron age political transition, Middle Gobi, Mongolia, 2004
DR. WILLIAM HONEYCHURCH, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and DR. CHUNAG AMARTUVSHIN, of the Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2004 to aid collaborative research on the early Iron Age political transition in the middle Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The emergence on the Inner Asian steppe of regional confederacies of pastoral nomads figured prominently in the early historical records of China and other Old World states. Current hypotheses differ about whether such polities arose as the result of indigenous political processes or from the influence of sedentary neighbors. Models illustrating these hypotheses are often based on historical sources and are rarely designed for testing against archaeological evidence. The Baga Gazaryn Chuluu survey was designed to test ideas for early political development on the steppe using regional survey data and excavation. The project was set in a marginal frontier area with characteristics suitable for the study of both internal and external economic and political processes. The second season of research, July through August 2004, resulted in the survey of approximately 103 square kilometers. More than 500 archaeological sites were discovered, ranging from the Paleolithic to the early twentieth century and including settlements, tombs, and petroglyphs. Sites dating to the early first millennium b.c.e. and to the period of the emerging Xiongnu steppe polity (ca. 200 b.c.e.) provided evidence that competition between Early Iron Age centers, networks of exchange extending as far as Inner Mongolia, and patterns of differential political sustainability were important in the rise of the first regionally organized, complex polity on the northeastern Asian steppe.
Onsuwan, Chureekamol, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Metal Age Complexity in Thailand: Socio-Political Development and Landscape Use in the Upper Chaophraya Basin,' supervised by Dr. Joyce C. White
CHUREEKAMOL ONSUWAN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in December 2001 to aid research on Metal Age sociopolitical development and landscape use in the upper Chao Phraya basin, Thailand, under the supervision of Dr. Joyce C. White. Onsuwan's overall goal was to test a heterarchy framework, as opposed to a hierarchical model, to account for variability in complex societies in Thailand during its Metal Age (ca. 2000 B.C.E.-500 C.E.). An intensive survey was conducted of about fifty-five square kilometers on the eastern side of the upper Chao Phraya River, a region important for understanding the long-term habitation of central Thailand. The region extends from the river's alluvial plain across its middle terrace to its high terrace. Data were collected on the distribution of settlements, the attributes of each site, and environmental variation. Preliminary evaluation showed variation in site sizes across the three environmental zones during the Metal Age, with a large density of Bronze Age communities situated on the high terrace and smaller Iron Age communities in the lowlands. Ceramic analysis showed that the Metal Age communities shared some ceramic patterns along with using their own local designs. Additional analysis was planned in order to determine the relationship between environmental and ceramic variation.
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.