Asian Perspectives, 1994 - Volume 33, 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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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
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    Review of Early Metallurgy, Trade and Urban Centres in Thailand and Souteast Asia, by Ian Glover, Pornchai Suchitta, and John Villiers (eds.); History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume I, The Dawn of Civilization: Earliest Times to 700 B.C., by A. H. Dani and V. M. Masson (eds.); The Tasaday Controversy: Assessing the Evidence, by Thomas N. Headland (ed.); Lang Rongrien Rockshelter: A Pleistocene, Early Holocene Archaeological Site from Krabi, Southwestern Thailand, by Douglas D. Anderson; Pottery Function: A Use-Alteration Perspective, by James M. Skibo; Old Javanese Gold, by John Miksic; Jurnal Arkeologi Malaysia (Association of Malaysian Archaeologists); A New Introduction to Classical Chinese, by Raymond Dawson.
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Higham, Charles ; Olsen, John W. ; Griffin, Marcus B. ; Welch, David J. ; Hunt, Terry L. ; Solheim, Wilhelm G. II ; Sargent, Stuart H.
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    Comments: Rethinking Complex Early Societies in Asia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) D'Altroy, Terence N.
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    Centralized Power, Centralized Authority? Ideological Claims and Archaeological Patterns
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Morrison, Kathleen D. ; Lycett, Mark T.
    Elite claims of power and authority may take material expression in both the archaeological and historical records. Such claims may be expressed through the renovation, rebuilding, realignment, or construction of monumental architecture; the appropriation of symbols of power and authority; or may be made outright in verbal and written media. The South Indian empire of Vijayanagara (c. A.D. 13001600) laid claim to a vast portion of the Indian subcontinent, but scholars agree neither on the nature nor the extent of power exercised by the imperial center. In this paper, we examine the ideological claims of the Vijayanagara political elite, as they are materially expressed. Specifically, we differentiate the forms and spatial extent of centralized power and centralized authority in the imperial "core" versus several "peripheral" regions through the distribution and form of fortifications and temples and through a quantitative spatial analysis of inscriptions. Such claims can be related to material conditions only in the "core" region; relationships between ideological claims and archaeological patterns in that area suggest avenues for future archaeological research in complex societies. KEYWORDS: Monumentality, South Asia, power, archaeological inference, Vijayanagara.
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    Interaction and Social Complexity in Lingnan during the First Millenium B.C.
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Allard, Francis
    Lingnan, located in the southeast of China, saw during the first millennium B.C. the emergence of ranked bronze-using societies preceding the arrival of the Qin and Han at the end of the third and second centuries B.C. Most of the published data is limited to excavated burials dated to the period 600-200 B.C. The spatial and temporal patterning of this burial data points to a number of interesting features. Earlier rich burials, which are found singly or in small groups, are concentrated west and northwest of the Pearl River delta. In those graves are found large numbers of bronzes, including elaborate vessels cast in the state of Chu (to the north) but few tools and ceramic vessels. The later burials, which are usually "poorer" than the earlier ones, are found mostly in large cemeteries whose pattern of distribution is more dispersed. These include few or no Chu artifacts but many tools and ceramic vessels. It is suggested that the relationship between the local Yue leaders and the Chu may have been closely tied to the latter's interest in the exotic resources of Lingnan. It is also proposed that, as a result of the decrease of Chu's interest in Lingnan-possibly caused by their military campaigns against the Qin-the leaders associated with the earlier rich burials would have lost their source of legitimation. The latest burials, located in previously "peripheral" areas, point to the maintenance of complex societies now more dependent on control of a wider base of production rather than on ritual and display. KEYWORDS: Lingnan, Chu, bronze, burials, China.
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    Monumentality and Mobility in Mughal Capitals
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Sinopoli, Carla M.
    The Mughal Dynasty dominated much of northern India from the early sixteenth through the early eighteenth centuries. For most of this period, Mughal rule was centered in the Delhi-Agra region, where rulers constructed a number of capitals and forts. The Mughal imperial capital was not a single urban center throughout this period, but a series of capitals within the broad imperial core, as individual rulers constructed or sponsored massive urban centers and monumental structures. In this paper I examine the relations between Mughal kingship and the changing centers of imperial power, through an examination of the form and sequence of the several Mughal capitals, including Fatehpur Sikri, Shahjahanabad, and Agra. KEYWORDS: South Asia, Mughals, empires, capitals.
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    Social Complexity in North China during the Early Bronze Age: A Comparative Study of the Erlitou and Lower Xiajiadian Cultures
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Shelach, Gideon
    The archaeological record of two areas is examined: the Yuxi region of the Zhongyuan, where the Erlitou Culture is centered; and the Chifeng-Aohan region of Inner Mongolia, where lower Xiajiadian Culture sites are found. This comparison suggests that although the data from the Erlitou Culture can be interpreted as reflecting a polity that covered a somewhat larger area and was perhaps more centralized than polities of the lower Xiajiadian Culture, the social and political systems of these two areas were not fundamentally different. The chronology of these cultures as well as evidence for interaction between societies of the Zhongyuan and the Chifeng-Aohan area are used to challenge the traditional Chinese model that describes the emergence of social complexity as the result of political and cultural expansion from the Zhongyuan. Based on these data, several models are presented that, although not ignoring the importance of external outputs, emphasize the way these influences were played out at the local level as well as other local processes. KEYWORDS: Chinese archaeology, North China, Late Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, complex societies, pastoralism.
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    Trade Competition, Conflict, and Political Transformations in Sixth- to Sixteenth-Century Philippine Chiefdoms
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Junker, Laura Lee
    The political and economic strategies of Philippine chiefs are examined in the context of trade interactions with mainland Asian states in the late first millennium and early second millennium A.D. Archaeological evidence from the Bais Region in the central Philippines is used to document the relationship between emerging political complexity and reliance on foreign trade as an external source of politically manipulable wealth. Shifts in regional settlement patterns, increasingly "standardized" ceramics, and an expanded volume of coastal-interior trade provide evidence for the emergence of more centralized production and distribution systems within the fifteenth- to sixteenth-century Bais Region chiefdom. The initial appearance of violent deaths in burial remains and fortifications at the chiefly center also archaeologically document increased interpolity conflict in the immediately precontact period. The development of greater sociopolitical complexity, the emergence of new internal production strategies, and increased militarism are all viewed as related to the expanding role of foreign trade in the Bais Region chiefdom's economy. KEYWORDS: Chiefdoms, trade, conflict, Philippines.
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    Variation in Settlements during the Longshan Period of Northern China
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Underhill, Anne P.
    This paper analyzes and synthesizes variation in settlements during the Longshan Period of the Huanghe River valley, c. 2600-1900 B.C. Large, walled sites that were probably centers of settlement hierarchies have been found in several areas. There is variation in date of construction, size, kinds of structures present, remains of craft production, and kinds of prestige goods. Differences in site function may be represented. I suggest methods that archaeologists could use to investigate the development of sociopolitical complexity in the Huanghe River valley involving changes in architectural features and in regional settlement patterns. These methods require detailed information on internal settlement organization and data from systematic regional survey. For houses at two sites, wall construction material and floor size are examined in an effort to investigate change in status differentiation over time. KEYWORDS: Longshan Period of northern China, analysis of settlements, development of sociopolitical complexity.
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    States of Theory and States of Asia: Regional Perspectives on States in Asia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Morrison, Kathleen D.
    Asian states have long been perceived as being fundamentally different from those lying in the "developmental path" of European civilization-Mesopotamian, Mediterranean, and European complex societies. This perception has been manifest in such historical constructions as the Asiatic Mode of Production and Oriental Despotism and is continued in more recent popular treatments of Asian prehistory. In order to develop more appropriate and realistic views of all complex societies, this history must be addressed and the particular experiences of Asian states integrated into general archaeological models. The papers in this volume represent a small step in this direction. KEYWORDS: Asia, complex societies, states, colonialism, Oriental Despotism, Asiatic Mode of Production.
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    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1994) Graves, Michael W.
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