Asian Perspectives, 1998 - Volume 37, Number 2 (Fall)

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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.


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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 8
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    Microblade Technology in Korea and Adjacent Northeast Asia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1998) Seong, Chuntaek
    Research history of the microlithic in northeast Asia reveals that while heavy emphasis has been placed upon reconstructing microblade techniques, little effort has been made in providing a systematic framework for examining microlithic technology. This study attempts to present an inclusive classification system of microblade technology based on the concept of reduction process. Technological classes are obtained by intersecting several types from three (or four) dimensions: blank formation (I, II, III, IV), platform preparation (A, B, C), and blade detachment (location and angle, a, a1, b, b 1, c, Cl). Some eighty microblade cores reported from ten Korean localities are analyzed. Variation of Korean microblade technology is closely associated with regional-scale differences in raw material availability, and three patterns are suggested: a northern pattern of obsidian type III and IV -cores as shown in MandaI, Sangmuryong, and Hahwagye materials; a central pattern with a high portion of elongated bifacial cores made of siliceous shale as represented by Suyanggae (and possibly Sokchang); and a southern pattern typically associated with type II tuff cores. Only a few samples of absolute dates are available for Korean microlithic assemblages, while the overwhelming amount of surface collections and limited distribution to the top of Pleistocene deposits suggest that most Korean microliths can be dated to the final Pleistocene. KEYWORDS: microblade core, microblade technology, reduction sequence, Korea, northeast Asia.
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    Liao Archaeology: Tombs and Ideology along the Northern Frontier of China
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1998) Shatzman Steinhardt, Nancy
    The death and burial practices of the semi-nomadic Liao empire (A.D. 947-1125) of China and Inner Mongolia are explored to determine whether, once the northeast Asian group known as the Qidan established their dynasty in Chinese territory, they came to follow the customs of the Chinese afterlife as they had done in their transformations from nomadism to city dwelling and from native practices to Buddhist worship; or, if in the privacy of death they retained their native rites and customs. Evidence pertaining to this issue comes both from Chinese texts and from excavations of Liao-period tombs. Chinese texts about Qidan burial practice are cited, showing that from the Chinese point of view, the burial customs of the Qidan classified them as barbarians. Evidence from Qidan tombs, however, seems to contradict the Chinese textual accounts. The tombs of the Liao emperors, it will be shown, employed Chinese architecture in dramatic fashion even in the early tenth century. Excavated evidence from nonroyal Liao tombs also shows the use of Chinese building traditions. Beneath or behind the architectural facades, however, native Qidan practices often persisted. In addition, it is argued that burial practices suggest that the Qidan not only deviated at times from Chinese funerary practices, but also were influenced by practices of other peoples of north and northeast Asia, including the first-millenium B.C. Scythians. KEYWORDS: Chinese archaeology, north Asia, northeast Asia, mortuary practices, ethnicity.
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    Recent Archaeological Research in the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1998) Sand, Christophe
    Recent archaeological research in the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia has added to our understanding of the region's culture history. Excavations at nine primarily rockshelter sites on the islands of Ouvea, Lifou, and Mare suggest that the earliest human occupation of the Loyalty' Islands, as with New Caledonia, is attributed to the Lapita complex; there is no preceramic tradition evident at these sites. Along with dentate-stamped pottery, the Lapita age ceramics are associated with other forms of decoration that have not been described previously. The Lapita assemblage and assemblages from subsequent occupations at these sites produced pottery and lithic materials suggestive of continuous but diminishing interaction over time with the main island of New Caledonia. Several sites contain archaeological deposits that record the transition to recent history and the arrival of European voyagers and missionaries in the region. KEYWORDS: Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Lapita, culture history, Melanesian archaeology.
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