Asian Perspectives, 2018 - Volume 57, Number 2 (Fall)

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    In MemoriamYosihiko H. Sinoto (3 September 1924 – 4 October 2017)
    ( 2020) Kirch, Patrick V.
    Yosihiko H. Sinoto, known to his friends and colleagues as Yosi, passed away on 4 October 2017, at the age of 93, having spent a remarkable 62 years of his life in pursuit of the Polynesian past. His long career spanned virtually the entire history of modern archaeology in the Pacific, beginning with the inception of stratigraphic excavation after World War II. Although he also carried out brief field projects in Micronesia and Western Polynesia, most of his research was focused on Eastern Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i, the Society Islands, and the Marquesas. In these key archipelagoes, Sinoto discovered and excavated some of the most iconic of Polynesian sites, including Pu‘u Ali‘i and Wai‘ahukini at South Point, Hawai‘i, Hane on Ua Huka in the Marquesas, and Vaito‘otia-Fa‘ahia on Huahine in the Society Islands. Guided by his material culture-centered approach to archaeology and drawing upon erudition gained from decades of meticulous study of the hundreds of fishhooks, adzes, ornaments, and other artifacts he excavated, Sinoto substantially revised our understanding of the course of human migrations into and across the Pacific. That not all of his theories have withstood the test of more recent research is not surprising, for science is always self-correcting, but our current interpretations would not be what they are if Sinoto had not led the way with his pioneering efforts.
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    Piecing Together Sha Po: Archaeological Investigations and Landscape Reconstruction. Mick Atha and Kennis Yip. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2016. 260 pp., color and black-and-white illustrations, appendices, index. Hardback HKD450, US $60. ISBN 978-988-8208-98-2.
    ( 2019) Xu, Jian
    Although from the perspective of the general public, Sha Po is a well-known holiday destination on Lamma Island, according to the authors of Piecing Together Sha Po, it is also a “microcosm” of Hong Kong archaeology (p. 26). Sha Po is more than a miniature version or passive reflection of Hong Kong archaeology, however: it is actually the cornerstone of the discipline, though somehow it remains marginalized and unnoticed against its commercial metropolitan setting. Father Daniel Finn’s surveys and excavations on Lamma Island, including Sha Po, almost 80 years ago marked the debut of Hong Kong archaeology. Few other sites in Hong Kong have been worked so constantly and extensively, and by as many generations of archaeologists oriented toward diverse theoretical and methodological frameworks, as has Sha Po. Yielding abundant remains from successive excavations, especially in the past two decades, the incomparable Sha Po site is significant not only to the academic discipline, but also to the general public as its findings reveal a complete and unique history of Hong Kong.
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    Pristine Affluence: Daoist Roots in the Stone Age. Livia Kohn. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2017. 273 pp. Paperback US $35. ISBN 978-1-931483-36-0; ebook US $15. ISBN 978-1-365-50563-8.
    ( 2018) Wright, Joshua
    The archetypical Daoist immortal is depicted as a chubby bearded man wearing a loose robe, sometimes with a gourd of liquor in his hand and a donkey or water buffalo standing nearby. He rests in a scenic spot, communing, distilling, and considering the life of the mind. And, if the thesis of Pristine Affluence is to be believed, recovering prehistoric patterns of life.
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    The History and Archaeology of the Koguryŏ Kingdom. Edited by Mark E. Byington. Early Korea Project Occasional Series. Cambridge, MA: Korea Institute, Harvard University, 2016. 520 pp., 188 illustrations, 37 maps. Distributed by University of Hawai‘i Press. Paperback US $50. ISBN 9780988692855.
    ( 2018) Kang, HyunSook
    The History and Archaeology of the Koguryŏ Kingdom was published in 2016 as part of the Early Korea Project at the Korea Institute of Harvard University. Edited by Mark E. Byington, the book is a collection of papers on the history and archaeology of Koguryŏ by researchers from Korea, China, Japan, the United States, and France. The papers contained in this book were originally presented at a conference on the “History and Archaeology of the Koguryŏ Kingdom” held in 2005. The conference was organized to provide an opportunity for Koguryŏ specialists from various countries to share their research results at a time when the historical dispute between Korea and China over the ancient kingdom was reaching a new level of acrimony.
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    Ancient Southeast Asia. John N. Miksic and Geok Yian Goh. London and New York: Routledge, 2017. xxii + 631 pp., illustrations, maps, bibliography, index. Paperback £35, US $36. ISBN 978-0-415-73554-4; Hardback £105, US $112. ISBN 978-0-415-73553-7; eBook £32, US $26. ISBN 978-1-315-64111-9.
    ( 2018) Bonatz, Dominik
    This book provides readers with the most comprehensive overview of Southeast Asia’s archaeological history since C.F.W. Higham’s (1989) seminal book, The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia. Moreover, Ancient Southeast Asia is the first synthesis to encompass not only the mainland regions but also Island Southeast Asia from Sumatra and Borneo to the Philippines. A work of such breadth and scope demands rich scholarship, which has been guaranteed by the authors’ enormous knowledge of the different regional contexts and their acquaintance with the material and textual evidence and the latest discoveries. The result is a highly useful compilation, which will enable readers to understand the dynamics of social-cultural evolution in a vast and geographically fragmented region.
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    The Guandimiao Bone Assemblage (and What it Says about the Shang Economy)
    ( 2018) Hou, Yanfeng ; Campbell, Roderick ; Li, Zhipeng ; Zhang, Yan ; Li, Suting ; He, Yuling
    The Anyang period village of Guandimiao—the only nearly completely excavated village in China of its time—is crucially important for understanding nonurban, nonelites in North China at the end of the second millennium b.c.e. Guandimiao was a small village that specialized in ceramic production, which indicates a hitherto unsuspected degree of economic specialization and integration in the Shang countryside. One line of evidence supporting an argument for economic integration between the urban center at Anyang and the countryside comes from the bone artifact assemblage recovered from the site. The Guandimiao bone artifact assemblage can be divided into four groups, each revealing a different path of production and distribution. One of these paths of production and distribution leads from this tiny village to Great Settlement Shang and its huge bone workshops some 200 km away.
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    The Dates of the Discovery of the First Peking Man Fossil Teeth
    ( 2018) Wang, Qian ; Li, Sun ; Ebbestad, Jan Ove R.
    Four teeth of Peking Man from Zhoukoudian, excavated by Otto Zdansky in 1921 and 1923 and currently housed in the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University, are among the most treasured finds in palaeoanthropology, not only because of their scientific value but also for their important historical and cultural significance. It is generally acknowledged that the first fossil evidence of Peking Man was two teeth unearthed by Zdansky during his excavations at Zhoukoudian in 1921 and 1923. However, the exact dates and details of their collection and identification have been documented inconsistently in the literature. We reexamine this matter and find that, due to incompleteness and ambiguity of early documentation of the discovery of the first Peking Man teeth, the facts surrounding their collection and identification remain uncertain. Had Zdansky documented and revealed his findings on the earliest occasion, the early history of Zhoukoudian and discoveries of first Peking Man fossils would have been more precisely known and the development of the field of palaeoanthropology in early twentieth century China would have been different.
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    Preliminary Results of the South Vanuatu Archaeological Survey: Cultural Landscapes, Excavation, and Radiocarbon Dating
    ( 2018) Flexner, James L. ; Bedford, Stuart ; Valentin, Frédérique ; Shing, Richard ; Kuautonga, Takaronga ; Zinger, Wanda
    South Vanuatu was an important hub of settlement and interaction in the tropical southwestern Pacific. A recent field project, the South Vanuatu Archaeological Survey, has begun carrying out field research, focusing initially on the islands of Futuna, Aniwa, and Tanna. This work builds upon pioneering research carried out in the 1960s, which in these islands has not been followed up until the last five years or so. We present initial findings from survey and test excavations carried out in 2016, including new radiocarbon dates for the region and the discovery of pottery on Tanna.
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    New Data from an Open Neolithic Site in Eastern Indonesia
    ( 2018) Lape, Peter ; Peterson, Emily ; Tanudirjo, Daud ; Shiung, Chung-Ching ; Lee, Gyoung-Ah ; Field, Judith ; Coster, Adelle
    Here we report the results of excavation and analyses of an open site on Pulau Ay, a small (ca. 4 km2) limestone island located in the Banda Islands, central Maluku, Indonesia. This report provides results of excavations at PA1 and other Pulau Ay sites conducted in 2007 and 2009. These sites reveal patterns of changes in marine resource exploitation, pottery, and use of domestic animals, particularly between initial occupation of the site at approximately 3500 b.p., and later phases commencing approximately 3000 b.p. Archaeobotanical analyses reported here provide insight into early Neolithic plant use, including early use of Myristica fragans (nutmeg) in a food context. The PA1 site adds to a growing data set about early Neolithic lifeways in Island Southeast Asia and provides a new view of cultural adaptations happening in the region during this critical period.
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    Late Middle Palaeolithic Subsistence in the Central Plain of China: A Zooarchaeological View from the Laonainaimiao Site, Henan Province
    ( 2018) Qu, Tongli ; Chen, Youcheng ; Bar-Yosef, Ofer ; Wang, Youping
    This article presents an analysis of faunal remains from Laonainaimiao, a late Middle Palaeolithic site in Henan Province. The site deposit is subdivided into five layers, among which Layer 3 yielded the most abundant archaeological remains including lithics, animal bones, and fireplaces. There are a series of repeated human occupations dating to about 40,000 b.p. Taphonomic observations demonstrate that the animal bones accumulated in Layer 3 are the result of human activities. The assemblage is dominated by horse and aurochs, followed by gazelle, deer, wild boar, and rhinoceros. The equids and bovids show a prime-age dominated profile indicating the capability for hunting large game during the Middle Palaeolithic. According to detailed analysis of skeletal parts, bone fracture patterns, and bone modifications, the carcasses were probably transported to the site whole for butchery. Marrow and grease were fully extracted. The intensive utilization of the carcasses reflects a very high food demand. Such a behavioral pattern may result from lower availability of food due to the palaeoenvironment, seasonality, or group size or from the poor quality of the food, which pushed people to maximize the carcasses.