Asian Perspectives, 2007 - Volume 46, 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.


Center for South Asian Studies
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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    Korean Contributions to Agriculture, Technology, and State Formation in Japan: Archaeology and History of an Epochal Thousand Years, 400 B.C. - A.D. 600
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2007) Rhee, Song-Nai ; Aikens, C. Melvin ; Choi, Sung-Rak ; Ro, Hyuk-Jin
    This is a study of Korean contributions to cultural changes in ancient Japan as it developed agriculture and increasing social complexity and finally formed the Yamato state over the course of a thousand years, between 400 B.C. and A.D. 600. Central to this study are three broad themes, supported primarily by archaeology but importantly informed by historical texts. First, key cultural features and technologies that were essential to increasing social complexity in Yayoi period Japan and to formation of a centralized state in the sixth century A.D. entered the archipelago directly from the Korea Peninsula. Second, a dominant factor behind the infusion of Korean cultural features was the movement, in several waves, of peninsula residents into the Japanese archipelago. While trade moved peninsula goods to the archipelago all throughout the formative period, Korean technologies, skills, ideologies, and cultural systems moved with people, including permanent immigrants, temporary residents, and official envoys. The Korean immigrants in particular were impelled initially by explosive population growth in Korea fueled by the spread of agriculture there and later by increasingly tumultuous political and military events that unfolded in the peninsula as rival polities contended for power during several hundred years of war. Third, a number of Korean immigrants emerged as powerful technocrats and political functionaries during the Kofun period, providing important organizational experience and service to the Yamato court during the process of state formation in Japan. KEYWORDS: Korea, Japan, China, Mumun, Songguk-ni, Jomon, Yayoi, Kofun, Koguryo, Baekje, Kaya, Yamato, Buddhism, Soga, Muryeong, Shotoku.
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    Inter- and Intraregional Variation in the Austronesian Painting Tradition: A View from East Timor
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2007) O'Connor, Sue ; Oliveira, Nuno Vasco
    This article reports on the discovery of a new rock art site from East Timor that is located inland on the southern flanks of the central mountainous spine of the island. One particular painted motif, a socketed axe with haft, indicates that at least some of the motifs were painted c. 2000 B.P. This date and the stylistic and technical features of the art would place it within the later body of painted art associated with the Austronesian Painting Tradition (APT) elsewhere in the western Pacific. This later phase is characterized by greater diversity in style, color, and placement of motifs than is found in the earlier APT. Comparison with the other known art sites in East Timor shows significant differences between the rock art of the eastern and central parts of East Timor, indicating that these areas comprised separate stylistic regions. KEYWORDS: Austronesian Painting Tradition, rock art, Timor, Island Southeast Asia, western Pacific, iconography.
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    Debating Jomon Social Complexity
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2007) Pearson, Richard
    People of the Jomon period (currently dated from about 14,000 B.C. to the first millennium B.C.) began to make lacquer ornaments as early as 7000 B.C. and by the fourth millennium B.C. were creating elaborately decorated, low-fired pottery vessels that appear to have been used for feasting. In the Final period of the Jomon, grave goods appear in a substantial percentage of burials. Without reliance on agriculture, Jomon people appear to have achieved a high level of social complexity. However, the evidence from a few case studies concerning lacquer, elaborate pottery, and burials seems to show that while part-time specialization provided a wealth of rich material culture, sustained hierarchy was not achieved and there was an emphasis on exchange and solidarity, as in other middle-range societies. This article reviews new material and debates. KEYWORDS: Jomon, Japan, social complexity, lacquer, ceramics, burials, craft production, complex hunter-gatherers.
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    Trade Ceramics from the Goto Islands (Japan), Circa Sixteenth to Early Seventeenth Century: The Yamami Underwater Site (Ojika) and Related Issues
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2007) Seyock, Barbara
    Underwater archaeology is still a new development in Japan, and to date only a few sites have experienced significant investigation. One of them is the recently surveyed Yamami underwater site on the Got6 Islands, which yielded sixteenth- to seventeenth-century trade ceramics from Thailand and Vietnam, as well as from the Jingdezhen kilns in China. After an introduction to the subject of ceramic trade and underwater archaeology in East Asia, the article reviews the ceramic pieces of the Yamami site in detail and links them to comparable finds from various sites in western Japan, such as from the main ports of Hakata and Nagasaki, along with examples from different international museum collections and wreck finds from the South China Sea. After also consulting historical sources, such as the Kai-hentai, the study develops a fresh interpretative approach toward the Yamami find, and-in a broader perspective-suggests strong bonds between the late medieval and early modern Japanese markets and the lively networks of the South China Sea. KEYWORDS: Japan, trade ceramics, underwater archaeology, medieval period, early modern period, porcelain, stoneware, Southeast Asia, China, Korea, maritime trade, Hakata, Nagasaki, Goto Islands.
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    New Evidence for Southeast Asian Pleistocene Foraging Economies: Faunal Remains from the Early Levels of Lang Rongrien Rockshelter, Krabi, Thailand
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2007) Mudar, Karen M. ; Anderson, Douglas
    This study reports on analysis of a sample of animal bones from Pleistocene levels of Lang Rongrien Rockshelter, Thailand. Analysis identified small proportions of marine and/or freshwater fish bone, freshwater/terrestrial snail shells, and bird bones, as well as large proportions of tortoise, turtle, and mammal bones. Comparison with three other faunal assemblages underscores salient characteristics consisting of a high proportion of turtle and tortoise and an absence of pigs in the Lang Rongrien sample. Analysis of the faunal assemblage suggests that, in contrast to other sites such as Niah Cave and Moh Khiew that were occupied on a long-term basis, the Pleistocene levels of Lang Rongrien were intermittently occupied by foragers who may have been practicing a seasonal round that involved transhumance from interior to coast. KEYWORDS: Pleistocene, faunal analysis, climate reconstruction, pigs, subsistence, Thailand, Southeast Asia.
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