Recent Developments in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology I: Material Culture Studies

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

The archaeology of East and Southeast Asia continues to grow with new scholars, projects, and methodological developments. The dialogue across borders keeps expanding as well, albeit modestly. As in previous years, we wish to bring together scholars to encourage cross-cultural, cross-border, and cross-disciplinary discussions regarding two world regions that have a long history of interaction. As always, the number of participants exceeds by far the number of slots available in one session, so there will be two symposia on Recent Developments in East and South Asian Archaeology focusing on different aspects of research. This first part brings together papers on material culture studies covering both a wide geographic area and range of time periods. These papers explore recent research on metal technology, ceramic production, and beads, but also issues of looting and other questions of field research.

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  • Documents (9)

  • Applying a Life History Framework to Analyzing Metal Age Metal Assemblages from Thailand (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joyce White. Elizabeth Hamilton.

    Application of archaeometric techniques to metals and related evidence from prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia is in its infancy. One result is that sample sizes per site have in most cases been minute or even unspecified, although in rare instances, such as Ban Chiang, sample sizes for metallographic and elemental analyses have been more robust and representative. Small sample sizes obscure key evidence for intrasite and regional variability in technological and economic systems. Recent lead...

  • Carnelian Beads in Korea and Japan (c. 100-700 CE): Style, Technology and Trade patterns (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lauren Glover.

    This regional study of carnelian beads in Korea and Japan (c. 100-700 CE) provides new perspectives on patterns of regional and long-distance trade and exchange. Possible source areas for carnelian will be presented along with the major stylistic and technological features recorded from carnelian beads. Preliminary analyses confirm the existence of intra-regional exchange between polities on the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago proposed by earlier scholars. Long distance exchange...

  • Comparative Techniques to Uncover Networks of Ceramic Technology in Southern Vietnam (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carmen Sarjeant.

    The analysis of ceramics in Southeast Asia has evolved from typologies and broad comparative discussions of vessel forms and surface treatments. Like other material culture, studies on ceramics from mainland Southeast Asian prehistoric sites that employ archaeometric techniques have escalated in recent years. The appearance of fine, incised and impressed ceramics in southern Vietnam dating to the Neolithic period (4500-3000 BP) is closely associated with sedentary settlements, cereal...

  • From the Ground, Up: The Looting of Vườn Chuối in Archeological and Criminological Context (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Damien Huffer. Duncan Chappell. Lâm Thi My Dung. Hoàng Long Nguyen.

    The exact nature of the illicit antiquities trade from ground to market in Southeast Asia remains poorly known outside of Thailand and Cambodia, where most research has been focused. This paper helps to address this imbalance by documenting and contextualizing looting activities at the Bronze and Iron Age site of Vườn Chuối, located within urban Hanoi. We provide a brief excavation history so as to place looting into archaeological and bioarchaeological contexts, and discuss current and future...

  • Here we go again: a new series of AMS dates from the Kkho Wong Prachan Valley, central Thailand (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Weiss. Vince Pigott.

    A new series of AMS dates from the Khao Wong Prachan Valley (KWPV) in central Thailand addresses several key questions in the region, including the dating of the initial settlement of the valley, the duration of the pre-metal period, the first appearance of copper-base artifacts, the beginning of large-scale crucible-based copper smelting and production at the site of Non Pa Wai, the shift to a different copper production technology used at Nil Kham Haeng, and, the occupation span of the...

  • Ideas of Immortality and the Clay Buddha Image from Yibin, Sichuan, China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Li Fei.

    In 2012, the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Archaeology excavated a group of cliff tombs in Nanxi County, Yibin; grave M12 at this site revealed a clay Buddha image. This paper argues that this is the base of an object dating between the late Eastern Han and the Shu Han period (AD 25-263) that is similar to the bases of money trees molded in the shape of a seated Buddha or Queen Mother of the West. The image thus likely developed from the image of the Queen Mother of the West as seen at the...

  • Khmer Stoneware Ceramic Production and the Angkorian State (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Miriam Stark. Peter Grave. Lisa Kealhofer. Darith Ea.

    The Angkorian Khmer (900-1500 CE) manufactured an array of goods that materialized and celebrated political authority, from temples and religious statuary to ornaments and domestic tools. Khmer stoneware ceramics were one of the least spectacular and most ubiquitous of these, yet their distributional pattern deftly maps the geography of 9th – 15th century Angkorian rule. Archaeological research at Khmer stoneware kiln sites in the last two decades, coupled with excavations in Greater Angkor,...

  • Putting a "human face" on prehistoric mining/metallurgical communities in the Khao Wong Prachan Valley of central Thailand (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Vincent Pigott.

    In the context of prehistoric archaeology in Thailand, metallurgy has been accorded significant attention in the literature, ranging from the origins debate to smelting technology as well as the socioeconomic contexts of copper production. An important complementary component of these discussions is seeking an improved understanding of associated human occupations. In the Khao Wong Prachan Valley (KWPV) of central Thailand, a major regional copper production center, the Thailand...

  • The spread and development of Iron Techologies in China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kazuo Miyamoto.

    Iron production in this paper is divided into two types; wrought iron and cast iron. Wrought iron was spread through the Eurasian grasslands to China two times; at the middle of second millennium BC and 9th to 8th century BC. At the later time, wrought iron daggers with golden or bronze handles spread to northwestern China. After wrought iron arrived in the Central Plains of China where bronze working was developed, there was the invention of cast iron technology. Development of cast iron...