Recent Advances in the Settlement and Landscape Archaeology of (South)west China and Southeast Asia Part II: The Micro Perspective of Internal Settlement Organization and Object Production

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Since the beginnings of archaeological research in Southwest China and Southeast Asia, the focus has largely been on burial material. Whereas the burial customs, personal decoration, and weapon and tool assemblages that accompanied the deceased are by now fairly well known, the world of the living is far less well explored. During the last few years, however, there has been increasing interest in the settlement archaeology of the region, ranging from smaller-scale investigations of sites, to a broader landscape approach. A considerable number of field projects throughout Southwest China and Southeast Asia have greatly advanced our understanding of the daily lives of prehistoric and early historic inhabitants of the area. This session assembles papers that introduce some of the results of these research projects, providing an overview of our current knowledge in this field and pointing out new avenues of research. While the first part of the session takes on the macro perspective of large-scale spatial analysis and long-term developments, this second part of the panel presents the micro perspective of settlement structure and object production.

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  • Documents (10)

  • Angkorian Residential Patterns: A view from the trenches (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alison Carter. Miriam Stark. Piphal Heng. Rachna Chhay.

    One of the defining features of the great temples of Angkor is the pattern of enclosed space that surrounds many major monuments. The outer limits of these enclosures are frequently bounded by masonry walls and moats. Although more than a century of research has been devoted to understanding the temples that lie at the center of these enclosures, the structure and function of the vast rectilinear spaces that surround them remains very poorly understood. This paper draws on recent fieldwork by...

  • Between Manufacturing and Disposal: The Lives of the Pots in the Neolithic and Metal Age Settlements of Southern Vietnam (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michelle Eusebio.

    Studies on pottery from archaeological sites in Southeast Asia are largely orientated towards aspects of manufacturing and typology. Emphasis is on the identification of transregional similarities and differences of form, decoration, and composition to establish patterns of human migration, contact, and identity. Less emphasis has been directed towards understanding what happens to different pottery vessels between their manufacturing and disposal, as well as their actual functional use. For...

  • Centers of power and ritual: discussing the archaeological remains from two large Zhangzhung-Period Settlements on the Tibetan Plateau (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yongxian Li.

    The two large settlement sites of Ka’erdong and Zebang which were radiocarbon-dated to 3000-1500 BP probably belong to the former Zhangzhung Kingdom (1500 BC – AD 645). These two sites are unusually large, covering an area of 130,000 m2 and 500,000 m2 respectively. Both sites have large cemeteries, residential areas, ritually-used spaces, and defensive structures. The largest structure observed is a large stone-mound tomb with a diameter of 60 m and a height of 6 m that can be attributed to a...

  • From Settlement to City: Two Issues Related to Phases I of the Site of Sanxingdui, Southwest China (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yu Lei.

    Since the first archeological excavation in 1934, the site of Sanxingdui has been explored in 16 separate field projects, exploring an area of nearly 10000 m2. Due to various reasons, only the data of 5 excavations (Yueliangwan in 1934 and 1963, Sanxingdui in 1980, the Sanxingdui sacrificial pits in 1986, and Rensheng cemetery in 1998) have been published, reporting only on 3000 m2 of excavation surface containing mainly Bronze Age remains. Our understanding of the Neolithic period (Phase I) at...

  • Preliminary analysis of prehistoric settlement patterns in the mid reaches of the Dadu River (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Xin Zhonghua.

    Some of the largest and most important prehistoric archaeological excavations conducted during the last ten years in Sichuan , were those in the Hanyuan Valley in the mid reaches of the Dadu River. So far, ten prehistoric sites have been excavated, revealing hundreds of housing remains, burials, trash pits and other features containing thousands of ceramic objects, stone tools, and bone objects. Utilizing this wealth of new material, this paper presents an analysis of the Neolithic settlement...

  • Preliminary study on Western Han dynasty settlements in the Lingnan region (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lo Chi Kei.

    Recent archaeological excavations in eastern and northern Guangdong and eastern Guangxi discovered palaces and administrative offices in the period of Nanyue Kingdom. Also, the characteristics of the palaces and the offices were Han-style and other facilities were installed defensive function as a military post. Based on the excavations, this paper studies how the elements of Han culture were integrated into Yue culture as reflected their settlement structures, architectures, and other material...

  • Settlement Archaeology in Southeast China during the Han Dynasty: Limitations and Approaches (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Francis Allard.

    As with other regions of China with limited settlement evidence, our understanding of life and developments in Lingnan (present-day Guangdong and Guangxi) during the Han dynasty relies in large part on contemporary texts and burial evidence – over 3000 Han dynasty graves have been identified to date in Lingnan. Although a number of non-funerary sites are now known, they offer only limited information about internal organization and function, the exception being the impressive Nanyue palace in...

  • The Settlement Remains of Sanxingdui -- A Preliminary Study of Chronology and Site Development (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ran Honglin.

    From its initial discovery in 1929, much research has been conducted on the site of Sanxingdui, making it the most famous and most important Bronze Age site in all of Sichuan if not Southwest China. While the sacrificial pits with their singular bronze objects have already been discussed in great detail by many scholars, the settlement of Sanxingdui, its structure and development are still poorly understood. Based on a consideration of the stratigraphic sequence and comparative analysis of the...

  • Sichuan Life Styles – Traditions and Adaptations in Prehistoric Architecture and Settlement Structure (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Richard Ehrich.

    Neolithic Sichuan formed a crossroad for influences from the north associated with millet agriculture and from the east associated with the growing of rice. But how did the different traditions of habitation of the Upper Yellow River in the north and the Middle Yangzi River as well as the Three Gorges in the east affect the situation in Sichuan and what role did adaptation to the local environment play? This is a survey of prehistoric architecture and settlement structure in Sichuan and an...

  • Toward a Reconstruction of Early Settlements in Metal Age Yunnan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only TzeHuey Chiou-Peng. Jianfeng Cui.

    Although research works on the Bronze Age burials in Yunnan in the past fifty years have expanded our knowledge on various aspects of ancient Yunnan societies, many questions pertaining to the earliest stages of human existence in Yunnan have remained to be answered for short of a well-defined chronological sequence from settlement archaeology. Recent findings of early habitation sites in the environs of the Lake Er are beginning to shed new lights on the exiting issues, including questions...