Asian Perspectives, 2016 - Volume 55, Number 2 (Fall)

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    Brian Vincent (26 March 1938–30 March 2016)
    ( 2016) Higham, Charles ; Summerhayes, Glenn
    Dr. Brian Vincent, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), died in 2016 just a few days after his 78th birthday. Brian came to archaeology in 1975. After a successful career as a builder, he enrolled in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Otago for his B.A. His deep interest in the discipline led to his undertaking doctoral research at the Thai Bronze and Iron Age site of Ban Na Di, where he analyzed ceramic artifacts.
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    A Tale of Two Giants: Wilhelm G. Solheim II (1924–2014) and William A. Longacre Jr. (1937–2015)
    ( 2016) Griffin, P. Bion
    This essay is not so much an obituary or combined obituaries as a personal appreciation of two archaeologists, Wilhelm G. Solheim II and William A. Longacre Jr., both of whom profoundly affected their home universities, Philippines studies, and the lives of many scholars. For this tale of two giants, I draw on my own and others’ memories, writings of others cited herein, and an amazingly detailed vita in my possession covering Bill Solheim’s work from 1947 through 1986. This is not a detailed accounting of their many research projects and accomplishments, but instead highlights the latter decades of their careers as they increasingly focused their research on theoretical and topical issues concerning the Philippines. I will attempt to write this accolade in the styles of both men, with the casualness of Bill Solheim and the clarity of Bill Longacre.
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    Turquoise Ornaments and Inlay Technology in Ancient China
    ( 2016) Qin, Xiaoli
    Most turquoise objects from early Neolithic sites in China are pendants made of a single material. From the later Neolithic period, however, people started to create turquoise ornaments with two or more composite materials. Ornaments were inlaid with turquoise and other materials using new techniques. In the Early Bronze Age, the turquoise production process reached its peak. At the Erlitou site, archaeologists found a large dragon-shaped turquoise mosaic, a variety of animal-shaped turquoise decorations, and turquoise workshops. The purpose of this paper is to understand the importance of turquoise products in the formation process of early state formation in China by analyzing the following topics: the technological evolution of turquoise manufacture, the combination of composite materials, the use of adhesive in turquoise inlay, and the associated production processes as they developed from the Neolithic to Early Bronze Age.
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    Settlement Chronologies and Shifting Resource Exploitation in Ka‘ū District, Hawaiian Islands
    ( 2016) Kahn, Jennifer G. ; Lundblad, Steven P. ; Mills, Peter R. ; Chan, Yvonne ; Longenecker, Ken ; Sinoto, Yosihiko
    Museum collections contribute valuable information for cultural heritage, biological conservation, and the application of innovative and new methodological approaches. Collections deriving from archaeological projects in Hawai‘i serve as a case in point. Here, we report on re-analysis of two Ka‘ū District collections from Hawai‘i Island (HA-B22-64 and -248) to demonstrate what can be learned when applying new research questions to old collections. Our research goals center on two main themes: re-dating the HA-B22-64 and -248 sites to place them within the newly refined Hawaiian archipelago settlement chronology; and using diverse data sources to look at changing resource use in pre-Contact Hawai‘i through time. Our new AMS dating results indicate that the lower levels of rockshelter HA-B22-64 date to the mid- to Late Prehistoric period during the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, while upper levels calibrate to the ninteenth century. Both levels of HA-B22-248 calibrate to the late eighteenth to nineteenth centuries. In terms of resource use, Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a volcanic glass is present at both sites in small amounts, which is consistent with other sites in the South Point area. However, the high percentage of Group 3 volcanic glass is unusual for the area, and represents the highest percentage for the Kona side of Hawai‘i Island. HA-B22-64 has a small number of basalt artifacts consistent with the Keahua I source on Kaua‘i, while both sites have evidence for artifacts produced from the Mauna Kea quarry. Technological data from our basalt assemblages do not support direct access to the Mauna Kea quarry nor the presence of adze specialists in Ka‘ū households; rather, we find rejuvenation and use of already finished adzes. Measurements on Scarine oral and pharyngeal jawbones illustrate a consistent and stable size structure of fish populations at both sites. This, along with the large overall fish size, is indicative of sustainable fishing practices.
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    Mortuary Caves and the Dammar Trade in the Towuti–Routa Region, Sulawesi, in an Island Southeast Asian Context
    ( 2016) Bulbeck, David ; Aziz, Fadhila Arifin ; O’connor, Sue ; Calo, Ambra ; Fenner, Jack N. ; Marwick, Ben ; Feathers, Jim ; Wood, Rachel ; Prastiningtyas, Dyah
    Archaeological evidence from survey and cave excavation in the Towuti–Routa region of Sulawesi suggests the following sequence of late Holocene cultural change. Settled communities whose subsistence included an agricultural component had established themselves by the early centuries a.d. and began the use of caves for mortuary purposes. Extended inhumations are the oldest attested mortuary practice, overlapping in time with secondary burials in large earthenware jars dated to around a.d. 1000. The third, ethnohistorically described practice involved the surface disposal of the deceased, including the use of imported martavans for the elite, between approximately a.d. 1500 and 1900. This sequence of mortuary practices has not been documented elsewhere in Island Southeast Asia, although each practice has multiple parallels. The Towuti–Routa dammar trade, which was at its peak at the time of European contact, can perhaps account for the quantity of exotic items imported to the region but not the specifics of the mortuary practices.
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    Aleti Tunu Bibi: Contextualizing a New Rock Art Site in East Timor and the Wider Asia-Pacific Region
    ( 2016) Galipaud, Jean-Christophe ; Kinaston, Rebecca ; Guillaud, Dominique
    Recent archaeological surveys and excavations on the island of Atauro, East Timor, identified several rock shelters with evidence for prehistoric occupation. Well-preserved rock art was found at one of these sites, Aleti Tunu Bibi. Here we present a description of the site and rock art, including the motifs and design elements, and interpret the site within the context of East Timor and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Most of the art was painted in red (likely ochre) or, in a few circumstances, black pigment (likely charcoal). Ochre was found in Pleistocene and early Holocene layers during excavations of the site. The only observed drawing, the outline of a boat in dry black charcoal, may represent a “boat of the dead” similar to those depicted on Dongson drums in the region, one of which was found recently in East Timor. That a boat is depicted in the drawing suggests that it may have been executed sometime after 2000 b.p. The Aleti Tunu Bibi rock art fits within the description of other East Timor painted rock art and shares some attributes with other sites in East Timor. However, the Aleti Tunu Bibi rock art is also distinct from sites on the mainland, and its presence on Atauro Island supports previous hypotheses of substantial local or temporal variation, and possibly indicates a pre-Austronesian origin for this tradition on the island.
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    Editors’ Note
    ( 2016) Carson, Mike T. ; Flad, Rowan K.
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    Title Page
    ( 2016)