Asian Perspectives, 1997 - Volume 36, Number 1 (Spring)

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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 - 7 of 7
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    The Unto Site: Excavations at a Late First Millennium B.C. and Mid-Second Millennium A.D. Habitation Site in Southeastern Negros Island, the Philippines
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997) Bacus, Elisabeth A.
    The Dumaguete-Bacong area of southeastern Negros Island has been the recent focus of probabilistic, systematic regional survey that has identified, to date, over 70 "sites," and of systematic excavations at two of the recorded sites. In 1989 excavations were undertaken at one of these, the Unto site, which uncovered evidence for two periods of prehistoric occupation, the earliest of which dates to the late first millennium B.C. and the later to the mid-second millennium A.D. This site is significant in several respects, including yielding the earliest evidence for occupation in the southeastern Negros region and the presence of decorated earthenwares identical to a number of previously undated decorated wares (e.g., "Kalanay") that have been recovered from a number of islands in the central Philippines. This paper presents a summary of the excavations, of the features and artifactual remains uncovered, and of the morphological and technological analyses of the earthenware assemblages. Evidence of residential structures was uncovered in each period of occupation. Associated with these structures were middens yielding plain and decorated (i.e., slipped, incised, and/or carved) earthenware sherds, lithic artifacts, sherds of Asian and European tradewares, iron slag, metal fragments, fired clay lumps, and shell, bone, and tooth fragments. The paper concludes with a discussion of each of the two periods of prehistoric occupation and of a third, possibly early historic period of occupation at the site. Further analysis of the Unto site, especially within a regional context, will provide important information for addressing a number of questions central to our understanding of southeastern N egros prehistory including: the nature of sociopolitical complexity during the late first millennium B.C. early first millennium A.D., the production and distribution of "Kalanay" wares, and the changing sociopolitical context of decorated earthenwares. KEYWORDS: earthenware, ceramic analysis, chronology, "Kalanay" wares, Negros Island, Philippines, Southeast Asia. Island, Philippines, Southeast Asia.
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    Patterns of Animal Utilization in the Holocene of the Philippines: A Comparison of Faunal Samples from Four Archaeological Sites
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997) Mudar, Karen M.
    Using animal bone assemblages from four archaeological sites, the hypothesis that economies and rituals of prehispanic Philippine societies were restructured by the introduction of various species of terrestrial mammals is examined. Analysis of the faunal assemblages indicates that the primary mammalian species utilized were water buffalo, wild and domestic pigs, and deer. Sites near the coast also contained marine reef fish, but not deep-sea fish. There was unexpected stability in species composition through time, suggesting that water buffalo was introduced to the Philippines at a relatively early date. Dog bones were not identified from domestic deposits. Emphasis on consumption of dog in traditional Filipino societies may be a product of early twentieth-century ethnographic sensationalism, and the premises for this emphasis should be reexamined. Distribution of body parts within and between sites are examined to identify social differences within sites in chiefdom and differences in site utilization in hunter-gatherer sites. KEYWORDS: Faunal analysis, subsistence, Holocene, Philippines, Southeast Asian archaeology.
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    The Fishermen of Anapua Rock Shelter, Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997) Leach, Foss ; Davidson, Janet ; Horwood, Michelle ; Ottino, Pierre
    Analysis of fish bone from Anapua indicates that the fishermen who used this rock shelter over a long period were unusual among Pacific island fishermen. Their catch initially contained a high proportion of tuna. Although tuna appear to have declined in importance through time at the site, they remained a significant component of the catch even in the most recent levels. In contrast, the grouper types of fish followed the opposite trend over the same period. Keywords: Oceania, Polynesia, Marquesas Islands, Ua Pou, prehistory, archaeology, archaeozoology, morphometric osteology, fauna, fishing.
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    The Role of Seabirds in Hawaiian Subsistence: Implications for Interpreting Avian Extinction and Extirpation in Polynesia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997) Moniz, Jadelyn J.
    The extinction of Hawaiian birds has been of interest to many archaeologists and paleontologists. The present subfossil evidence indicates that humans affected the abundance of these birds either through predation or habitat alteration. Land birds have heretofore been the primary focus in discussing the extinction process. The bones of seabirds, however, generally dominate archaeological assemblages. Analyses of avifaunal assemblages from two sites (Kuli'ou'ou on the island of O'ahu and South Point on the island of Hawai'i) support the argument that if we want to understand the relationship between human colonization, subsistence, and extinction (or extirpation), then seabirds are an important resource. Because of their large population sizes, wide distribution, and reproductive susceptibility to predators, seabirds are important indicators of the impact human settlement has on the native fauna. I have identified at least four seabird species previously unknown to have bred historically on the islands, in addition to a possible extinct petrel. This suggests that the distribution of these species was much wider than previously thought and the introduction of predators may have had an effect on the occurrence of these bird colonies. Keywords: Avian Extinction and Extirpation, Zooarchaeology, Hawai'i, Polynesia.
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    Uniformity and Regional Variation in Marine Fish Catches from Prehistoric New Zealand
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997) Anderson, Atholl
    Catch patterns of prehistoric Maori fishing, including their regional variations, have been described by Leach and Boocock (1993) for one large sample of archaeological assemblages. A second large sample is described here, and the results compared. The new data strengthen evidence of a narrow focus upon snapper fishing in the northern North Island and upon barracouta fishing in the southern South Island. The central regions are still inadequately represented by catch data. The overall emphasis upon a few medium-sized, shallow water, carnivorous species; regional variation in the taxa of these; and signs of a broad stability in catch patterns can be related fundamentally to the nature of a temperate-zone ichthyofauna and secondarily to probable features of the fishing gear and subsistence economy. There are some deficiencies in current data and approaches that need to be addressed. KEYWORDS: New Zealand, catch patterns, regional variation, fishing strategy.
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    36:1 Table of Contents - Asian Perspectives
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 1997)
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