Author(s): Rita Dal Martello

Year: 2015


Mortuary data is one of the few now available tools we have to understand Chinese late neolithic culture of Qijia. With the exception of Lajia site, the most famous and best investigated sites are cemeteries, scattered throughout the regions of Gansu, Qinghai and Ningxia in Northwest China. The data they revealed has been a long time source for Chinese archaeologists in the attempt of reconstructing the social organisation of the time, often putting too much emphasis on only certain type of burial (e.g. the so-called "suttee" burials) and neglecting the wide range of possibilities present within the same cemetery. New insight on this data can help us review the theories and assumptions made in the past. In this paper I attempt to evaluate the rate and pattern of change over time of some aspects of mortuary practice, such as presence and quantity of prestigious and ritual goods, tomb architecture, arrangement of burials within one cemetery and so on. Although a secure chronology has yet to be established for Qijia Culture, its significance on the overall context of pre-imperial China is increasingly recognized by scholars, and therefore its studying is of primary importance to get a better understanding of the time.

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Cite this Record

RETHINKING BURIAL PRACTICE IN QIJIA CULTURE. Rita Dal Martello. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395267)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;