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Current Issues in the Archaeology of the Margins of Southwest China: The Example of the Stone-Cist Graves

Author(s): Zhao Deyun

Year: 2017

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Stone-cist graves are one of the most remarkable local discoveries in the mountains of Southwest China. Research on stone-cist graves has helped our understanding of various aspects of local cultural history, but there are many questions remaining such as chronology, the sequence of cultural developments, past social structures, as well as the origin and distribution of stone-cist graves.

This paper introduces both previous advances and remaining challenges for research on this body of material, serving also as an example for work in other places and time periods. In a first step, we have to review previous research to establish a local cultural chronology which at present is the most important task. When trying to connect archaeological remains with ancient ethnic groups mentioned in historical texts, we must be very careful. When explaining the origin of specific cultural phenomena, we should distance ourselves from simple diffusionist explanations and instead discuss the issue from the viewpoint of local environment and subsistence practices, also integrating ethnoarchaeological work. Furthermore, we have to look into the post Eastern Han developments, considering how Han politics toward the Southwest changed local culture traditions.

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Current Issues in the Archaeology of the Margins of Southwest China: The Example of the Stone-Cist Graves. Zhao Deyun. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431123)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14751

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