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.