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Culture and its varations - A community focused study of Siwa and Western Zhou cemeteries in Gansu

Author(s): Yitzchak Jaffe

Year: 2016

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For his last SAA paper, Professor Chen Pochan talked about the Dian Yangfutou cemetery in Yunnan. He presented the results of an analysis that provided new meaning on its social structure. The Dian culture was an important entity on the periphery of the Warring States and early Han world, but apart from several references in Chinese historical documents little is known, but much is assumed, about them. Chen's study complemented previous Dian mortuary research with site-specific practices in order to present the unique social structure of the Yangfutou community.

Like the Dian, the Siwa were a peripheral culture, who were contemporaries of the Shang and Zhou polities. As the Siwa are often identified with the lesser barbarian tribes mentioned in historical texts, their sites and artifacts are lumped together as a single cultural complex and contacts between them and the Chinese core are assumed to be violent. In this paper I present the variability of Siwa cemeteries and the results of analyses performed on two proximal graveyards, one believed to be Siwa and the other Zhou. My research finds great variably among Siwa community specific burial customs and uneven relationships with their Zhou neighbors.

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Culture and its varations - A community focused study of Siwa and Western Zhou cemeteries in Gansu. Yitzchak Jaffe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403282)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America