Asian Perspectives, 2002 - Volume 41, Number 1 (Spring)

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Asian Perspectives is the leading peer-reviewed archaeological journal devoted to the prehistory of Asia and the Pacific region. In addition to archaeology, it features articles and book reviews on ethnoarchaeology, palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology, and ethnography of interest and use to the prehistorian. International specialists contribute regional reports summarizing current research and fieldwork, and present topical reports of significant sites. Occasional special issues focus on single topics.


Center for South Asian Studies
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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    Social Integration and the Ala Loa: Reconsidering the Significance of Trails in Hawaiian Exchange
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Mills, Peter R.
    A large network of coastal trails on Hawai'i Island was recently designated as a National Historic Trail, but our understanding of the trail has been limited to historical documentation supported by scant archaeological data. The current study is based upon an archaeological survey of a 2-mile section of the trail in Kona where it crosses through a dozen ahupua 'a (traditional Hawaiian land divisions), and considers the significance of the coastal trail in relation to Hawaiian land use and exchange. Findings suggest that a trail paved with waterworn stones followed the same straight route as the current trail, which has been affected by numerous historical era modifications. Along with similar known examples in Kona, this finding calls into question a common assumption that all precontact and early historical Hawaiian coastal trails meandered along the contours of the coast. In addition to supporting chiefly endeavors such as the collection of tribute during the annual Makahiki festival, it is suggested that the straight trail may have supported regular exchange of domestic commodities across ahupua 'a boundaries in the prehistoric or premissionary eras, and broadens our anthropological perceptions of interdistrict exchange in relation to ahupua 'a economics. KEYWORDS: Hawai'i, Kona, trails, Ahupua'a, exchange.
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    Site LPO023 of Kurin: Characteristics of a Lapita Settlement in the Loyalty Islands (New Caledonia)
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Sand, Christophe ; Bole, Jacques ; Ouetcho, Andre
    Recent studies have dramatically shortened the chronology of Lapita pottery production in Remote Oceania, allowing this easily identifiable, decorated ceramic ware to be used as a precise temporal marker of first Austronesian settlement in this vast region. Unresolved questions about the precise date of settlement of the Loyalty Islands, located strategically between southern Vanuatu and the Grande Terre of New Caledonia, hinted at a clear picture of the direction and timing of the spread of the Lapita Cultural Complex in southern Melanesia. The results of the excavation of a Lapita site on Mare, in the south of the Loyalty Islands, are presented here, allowing firm placement of the first settlement phase of this region around 1050-1000 B.C., well in line with recent regional chronologies. KEYWORDS: Lapita; pottery; Remote Oceania; chronology.
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    Megalithic Pochampad: The Skeletal Biology and Archaeological Context of an Iron Age Site in Andhra Pradesh, India
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Kennedy, Kenneth A.R.
    Human skeletal remains from a burial site in southern India excavated in the 1960s by the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, have been analyzed. The burials were recovered from three megalithic graves containing iron weapons and horse trappings, pottery and terracotta figurines, stone blades, pieces of copper, and faunal remains of domesticated species. These assemblages are hallmarks of the southern Indian Iron Age (Megalithic period) of the last three centuries B.C. Laboratory examination of the human skeletal and dental remains provide new information concerning the phenotypic heterogeneity of Iron Age populations, their physical changes in stature and tooth size, reduction of muscular-skeletal robusticity and sexual dimorphism, and other biological features reflecting evolutionary adaptations from an ancestral huntingforaging lifeway to settlement in sedentary villages. The data from the study of the skeletal-dental biology of the inhabitants of Pochampad offer new insights into the health status and profiles of growth and development of these and other Iron Age populations in this part of the world. It is concluded that there was considerable phenotypic heterogeneity among these Iron Age communities of southern India and Sri Lanka, and that there was a continuity of populations over time rather than any abrupt demographic displacement of earlier Neolithic populations by invasions of some foreign, early iron-using peoples. Similarly, the biological data suggest that there was continuity of populations and gradual emergence of these last representatives of South Asian prehistory with their Early Historic period successors. KEYWORDS: Indian Iron Age, megalithic burials, biological anthropology.
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    Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations in Madurai Region, Tamil Nadu, India: From c. 10,000 B.P. to c. A.D. 500
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Selvakumar, V.
    Archaeological investigations undertaken in the upper Gundar Basin (Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India) between 1991 and 1996 have yielded evidence for the Mesolithic and Iron Age-Early Historic periods. The research has revealed that microlith-using hunter-gatherers continued to exist during the Iron Age and Early Historic periods, and interacted with agropastoral groups. This paper discusses the settlement system of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and interactions between the hunter-gatherers and the agropastoral groups of the Iron Age-Early Historic period. KEYWORDS: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, South Asia, microliths, Mesolithic, Iron Age, Early Historic, hunter-gatherers.
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