Craft production and domestic economies of the prehistoric Chengdu Plain, southwest China

Author(s): Kuei-chen Lin

Year: 2015


The Chengdu Plain has been home to several large walled settlements and many small villages since the late Neolithic era. Evidence from several sites suggests that multiple types of economic and subsistence production were usually coupled within a given community. Such activities might have mutually influenced one another while sharing or competing for resources, including labor and customers. Although some artisans possibly produced luxury goods or gifts used on special occasions, most of the products were everyday goods that only circulated among a village or community. It is curious and worth noting, however, that the counterparts or imitations of these local products, which followed the same prototypes but whose details were differently implemented, can be found in diverse contexts and many other far-off settlements. By comparing the manufacturing traditions of different working groups, we can discern the extent to which environments, settlement patterns and subsistence economies played an important role in shaping respective traditions. It is also clear that, to understand how these types of production were incorporated into domestic economies and perhaps also larger exchange networks, we need to further investigate users’ social interests and strategies.

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Cite this Record

Craft production and domestic economies of the prehistoric Chengdu Plain, southwest China. Kuei-chen Lin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395638)

Spatial Coverage

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