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Interaction and Social Complexity in Lingnan during the First Millenium B.C.

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Title:Interaction and Social Complexity in Lingnan during the First Millenium B.C.
Authors:Allard, Francis
LC Subject Headings:Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Date Issued:1994
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation:Allard, F. 1994. Interaction and Social Complexity in Lingnan during the First Millenium B.C. Asian Perspectives 33 (2): 309-26.
Series:Volume 33
Number 2
Abstract: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.
ISSN:1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 1994 - Volume 33, Number 2 (Fall)

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