Archaeology of Cultural Fluidity in Taiwan

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

From maritime-based foragers to Neolithic farmers and Austronesian pioneers, the prehistoric societies of Taiwan exemplify cultural fluidity – defined as resiliency leading to transformative evolutionary change -- as an adaptive strategy. This session offers fascinating case studies that examine cultural fluidity from an evolutionary perspective. Geo-spatial, archaeological, and artifactual data will be featured as well as updates about emerging discoveries on this unique island and the related Pacific sphere.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-7 of 7)

  • Documents (7)

  • Behavioral ecology of Neolithic transformations in Taiwan: Ceramics and settlements (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Pei-Lin Yu.

    Six thousand years ago, encounters between Paleolithic Taiwanese foragers and seafaring farmers of Mainland China ushered in a new agricultural lifeway. Two hallmarks of the early Taiwanese Neolithic are sedentary settlements and red cord-marked ceramic wares. How quickly did foragers adopt these cultural traits? Did they adopt them together or separately? Archaeological data from the Neolithic transition are scarce, but ethnographic information suggests that the rate of change is affected by...

  • Changing landscapes of the Paleolithic/Neolithic transition in Taiwan (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mike Carson. Hsiao-chun Hung.

    Toward understanding the Paleolithic/Neolithic transition in Taiwan, a paleo-terrain approach allows reconstruction of the ancient landforms and habitats of where people lived. Those ancient contexts help for us to situate the activities of people using their landscapes in different ways at intervals of 7000, 6000, 5000, and 4000 years ago. This approach needs to account for significant change in tectonic movement of land masses, slope erosion and re-deposition patterns, fluctuating sea level,...

  • Creating, enduring and transforming: pots and people in southern Taiwan. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yvonne Marshall.

    This paper seeks to reframe archaeological thinking on what constitutes ‘an object’ and how such objects endure through time. I will consider the changing presence of pots among the Paiwan people of southern Taiwan over the past 2000 years. The Paiwan are understood to have ‘lost their pots’ at least 100 years ago, in the sense that they chose to stop making them. This ‘loss’ is has been presumed to result from Chinese and Japanese colonial interventions during the 19th and 20th centuries. ...

  • Modelling Communities: Social Transformation of Early Kaushi, Taiwan (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mu-Chun Wu.

    This paper presents the modelling of different communities within two sites, Saqacengalj and Aumagan, which exemplifies the early developments of the Kaushi people. In the light of Ingold’s ‘wayfaring theory’ (Ingold, 2012), this research argues that interpersonal relationships are not entirely based on social identities, and social relations should also be investigated, regardless of their hierarchical status, but through intimate human interaction. Therefore, this research models human...

  • Movement of People and Its Cultural Reconstructions: Spatial Construction and Cultural Fluidity in Paiwan, Taiwan (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maa-ling Chen.

    Cultural cognition is figurative, metaphorical, analogical, and participatory in nature. Spatial constructions, presented as figurative patterns, are regarded in this paper as the imagery conceptualization processes. These processes map or encode spatial cognition and relative cultural aspects dwelling in people’s minds onto new lands through daily human activities and physically spatial constitutions when people move. Therefore, analyzing spatial constructions of a social group during...

  • Settlement configuration and social structure:Applying spatial comparative analysis in Old-Kucapungane (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chung Yu Liu.

    This article aims to examine the differences of social structure revealed (1) by the interpretations of the archaeological record through spatial analysis and, (2) by the data obtained through ethnographic research, both for same ethnic group. Applications of spatial technologies in archaeology began in the early 1980s. Although these GIS-based technologies brought about new research perspectives, their ‘effectiveness’ and ‘correctness’ needs more in-depth investigations. Using Old-Kucapungane...

  • Tracing Purpose: An emic view of pottery making in prehistory and beyond (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sandy Budden-Hoskins.

    Archaeologists have, until recently, tended to study pots in what I view as an outside/in or etic manner. We have looked at size, form, decoration and touched on the manner of making only insofar as a pot being hand-built, wheel-thrown or cast. However, by developing a profoundly emic understanding of potting, as performance, we have a tool that can allow us to to view the entirely social and shifting cultural nature of a particular genre of pots. In 2007 I developed a skill methodology that has...