Cleghorn, Dr. Naomi Elancia, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Upper Paleolithic Fauna of Mezmaiskaya (Russia): Implications for Human Behavior and Ecology'
DR. NAOMI E. CLEGHORN, University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'The Upper Paleolithic Fauna of Mexmaiskaya (Russia): Implications for Human Behavior and Ecology.' This project investigated the ecology of Late and Terminal Pleistocene hominins in the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains using faunal remains recently excavated at Mezmaiskaya Cave. This locality is unique within the region in preserving a comprehensively dated stratigraphic sequence from the Middle Paleolithic, through the Late Upper Paleolithic, to the Epipaleolithic. It thus provides a critical perspective on the changing ecological parameters, as well as subsistence and social strategies of Late Neanderthals and Modern Humans at the boundary between the temperate Near East and the unstable glacial climate of Eastern Europe. The new analysis of the Upper and Epipaleolithic fauna from Mezmaiskaya is being used to address four significant questions: 1) Is there evidence for faunal resource intensification across the MP to UP boundary or later? 2) Is there evidence for intensification of site use over this period? 3) Is there a relationship between these variables and local environmental variation? and 4) What are the implications of the richer-than-expected bone industry for human social networks and technological adaptations in the Caucasus? In addition, the new analysis allows the development of a broader inter-regional comparison across the Caucasus with comparably dated sites in Georgia, particularly Ortvale Klde and Dzudzuana.
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.
d'Alpoim Guedes, Jade Aziz, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Adaptation and Invention during the Spread and Intensification of Agriculture in the Chengdu Plain,' supervised by Dr. Rowan K. Flad
JADE AZIZ D'ALPOIM GUEDES, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Adaptation and Invention during the Spread and Intensification of Agriculture in the Chendu Plain,' supervise3d by Dr. Rowan K. Flad. In order to examine the relationship between changes in agricultural management regimes and the development of complex society, the grantee carried out fieldwork in the Chengdu Plain, Sichuan Province, P.RC.. During this fieldwork, macro botanical remains and samples for ancient starch were collected to document change in agricultural strategies from the earliest implantation of settlers in the area until the complex societies of the Bronze Age. Analysis of samples show that a change in subsistence from the low investment crop of broomcorn millet to labor intensive rice agriculture occurred between the first colonization of the area and the late Neolithic Baodun period. This change in subsistence is associated with other developments which indicate that people were able to harness larger labor forces, such as the construction of large walls surrounding settlements. The development of social complexity appears to be accompanied by restructuring in labor investments at the agricultural base and is closely linked to the development of rice agriculture in this region. Analysis of samples from the Bronze Age is currently underway and these samples will be analyzed using crop processing models to document how labor organization was restructured during this period.
d'Alpoim Guedes, Jade, Ming Jiang, Kunyu He, Xiohong Wu, and Zhanghua Jiang. 2013. Site of Baodun Yields Earliest Evidence for the Spread of Rice and Foxtail Millet Agriculture to South-west China. Antiquity 87(377):751-771.
d'Alpoim Guedes, Jade. 2011. Millets, Rice, Social Complexity, and the Spread of Agriculture to the Chengdu Plain and Southwest China. Rice 4:104-113.
Indrisano, Gregory G., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff
GREGORY G. INDRISANO, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff. Full coverage pedestrian surface survey of 102 square kilometers on the northern shore of Daihai Lake, Liangcheng County, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, PRC, recorded the extent of ancient habitation from 2900 BCE to 1400 CE. The goal of the project was to systematically record the spatial extent as well as the artifact density and geographic setting of ancient habitation in this region through time. The northern shore of Daihai lake included more than 750 hectares of total occupation producing more than 17,800 sherds from the Laohushan, Zhukaigou, Warring States, Han Dynasty, Liao Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty Periods. Little or no settlement hierarchy is apparent in the settlement pattern for this region until it was integrated into the Central Plain polities during the Warring States Period. From the Warring States into the Han Dynasty Periods, strong settlement hierarchies develop as this region was integrated into the Han Dynasty. After a period of low population this area was once again integrated into the Central Plain Dynasties of the Liao and Yuan, where even further hierarchies develop, centered on the rich lacustrine environment on the shore of Daihai Lake. Another goal of the project was to investigate how these administrative hierarchies affected subsistence strategies in the past. Preliminary results suggest that many of these spatially extensive, administratively complex polities required intensive farming from the peasant populations to feed the large number of unproductive residents. This intensive farming brought people together into densely packed site hierarchies that left little room for herding activities, and the intensive agricultural practices would have limited the ability of farmers to practice mixed economies. If these preliminary results are supported by future analysis, then subsistence is more closely connected with the demands made on farmers by complex polities than by changes in environment.
Pan, Yichung, U. of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK - To aid research on 'The Colonisation and Abandonment of Neolithic Islandscapes: A Case Study from the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan,' supervised by Dr. Keith Dobney
Preliminary abstract: This project aims to reinvestigate the evidence for the early occupation and exploitation of the Penghu archipelago, Taiwan by Neolithic settlers between 5000 to 4000B.P and to explore if the islands were abandoned by end of the Neolithic. By combining zooarchaeological, geoarchaeological and GIS approaches the project will enable the key relationships between site location, resource availability/exploitation and environmental factors to be established in order to throw new light on the important role this relatively unknown but key island archipelago played in the early expansion of Austronesian-speaking peoples from mainland ISEA. This research will apply and modify archaeological theory of both island and landscape archaeology and will help highlight and promote the combination of advanced GIS, geoarchaelogical and island zooarchaeological research within Taiwanese archaeology.
Norton, Dr. Christopher J., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Taphonomic and Chronometric Perspectives on the East Asian Early to Late Paleolithic Transition'
DR. CHRISTOPHER J. NORTON, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Taphonomic and Chronomteric Perspectives on the East Asian Early to Late Paleolithic Transition.' The nature of hominin-carnivore interactions is thought to be a key to the behavioural transition between archaic and modern humans. Taphonomic research is common in the Western Old World, but a paucity of such studies exists in East Asia. The taphonomic analysis of the Middle-Late Pleistocene Xujiayao site, that is associated with archaic Homo sapiens fossils (western Nihewan Basin, northern China), forms a base to develop interpretations of the nature of hominin-carnivore interactions during the Pleistocene in Northeast Asia. Preliminary analysis of the bone surface modifications (cut marks, percussion marks, tooth marks) of the long bones suggest initial access by hominins to the carcasses and secondary access by scavenging carnivores. Hominin behavioural evolution can only be confidently reconstructed if the chronometric age of the deposits are known and accepted by the scientific community. Xujiayao samples will be analyzed using optically stimulated luminescence to determine the age of the deposits. Bone samples from Zhoukoudian Upper Cave that are associated with the human burials and the Lower Recess are currently being analyzed using accelerator mass spectrometry. Results of these chronometric dating studies should be presented in the first half of 2007.
Norton, Christopher J., and Xing Gao. 2008 Hominin-Carnivore Interactions during the Chinese Early Paleolithic: Taphonomic Perspectives from Xujiayao. Journal of Human Evolution 55(1):164-178