Asian Perspectives, 2013 - Volume 52, Number 1 (Spring)

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    Two Clocks: A Comparison of Ceramic and Radiocarbon Dates at Macapainara, East Timor
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2013) Fenner, Jack N. ; Bulbeck, David
    Radiocarbon analysis and ceramic typology assessment are commonly used to date late Holocene archaeological sites in Island Southeast Asia. We apply both methods to date the site of Macapainara in East Timor, and they produce substantially different age ranges for this site. The radiocarbon dates are consistently later in time than ceramic typology dates from the same or adjacent stratigraphic levels. We assess the various sources of error for the two dating techniques that could produce this discrepancy, and conclude that the ceramic typology age ranges are misleadingly old due to concerted curation of fine ceramics by the site occupants. We discuss the implications of this for dating sites in East Timor and elsewhere within Island Southeast Asia.
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    Survey, Excavation, and Geophysics at Songjiaheba—A Small Bronze Age Site in the Chengdu Plain
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2013) Flad, Rachel ; Horsley, Timothy J. ; D'Alpoim Guedes, Jade ; Kunyu, He ; Bennett, Gwen ; Chen, Pochan ; Shuicheng, Li ; Zhanghua, Jiang
    Archaeological survey in the Chengdu Plain of Sichuan Province has revealed settlement patterns surrounding Late Neolithic walled sites, including large numbers of small settlements from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Han Dynasty eras. Here geophysical survey and excavation at one of these small-scale sites dating to the Middle Bronze Age are reported, showing for the first time the value of high-resolution geophysics for evaluating site size and integrity in the Chengdu region.
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    Temporal Variability in Southeast Asian Dragon Jars: A Case from the Philippines
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2013) Dueppen, Stephen
    This article presents the results of a detailed analysis of four dragon jar groups found in the Guthe Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology. Dragon jars are a class of decorated stoneware storage vessels that were employed in trade throughout Southeast Asia during the second millennium a.d . The jars in this study, recovered from mortuary contexts, are a unique data set due to their wide deposition throughout the southern Philippines. An exploration of intra-group and inter-group patterning has revealed temporal patterns and likely production locales for dragon jar manufacture over the course of the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. These temporal and spatial trends are then applied to the Guthe Collection to examine jar distribution throughout the Philippines over the critical period spanning the emergence of large-scale international commerce in the region. This study contributes a well-defined chronology for a commonly found material class, as well as knowledge of regional trading patterns.This article presents the results of a detailed analysis of four dragon jar groups found in the Guthe Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology. Dragon jars are a class of decorated stoneware storage vessels that were employed in trade throughout Southeast Asia during the second millennium a.d . The jars in this study, recovered from mortuary contexts, are a unique data set due to their wide deposition throughout the southern Philippines. An exploration of intra-group and inter-group patterning has revealed temporal patterns and likely production locales for dragon jar manufacture over the course of the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. These temporal and spatial trends are then applied to the Guthe Collection to examine jar distribution throughout the Philippines over the critical period spanning the emergence of large-scale international commerce in the region. This study contributes a well-defined chronology for a commonly found material class, as well as knowledge of regional trading patterns.
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    Fragments of Globalization: Archaeological Porcelain and the Early Colonial Dynamics in the Philippines
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2013) Min, Li
    Archaeology provides a powerful lens for revealing the complex social processes and profound consequences of global encounters. This study of archaeological ceramics from the southern Philippines investigates patterns of quality, source variation, and spatial distribution for Chinese trade porcelain dating before and after Spanish colonization. It aims at placing archaeological research on ceramics trade into the broader context of trans-Pacific trade between East Asia and Spanish America, as well as the historical circumstances for the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities involved in the global exchange. The patterns documented reveal continuity and transformation of the Asiatic trade network and the diverse responses to the colonial condition by native communities. The ceramic trade and indigenous political development were juxtaposed with the global competition of empires and changing economic dynamics.