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On Craft Production and the Settlement Pattern of the Jinsha Site Cluster on the Chengdu Plain

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Title:On Craft Production and the Settlement Pattern of the Jinsha Site Cluster on the Chengdu Plain
Authors:Lin, Kuei-Chen
craft production
community archaeology
Date Issued:04 Oct 2019
Series:Volume 58
Number 2
Abstract:Analysis of settlement pattern and production organization of the Jinsha settlement suggests that it was less strictly organized than the Sanxingdui settlement and that it was inhabited by heterogeneous social groups during the early Bronze Age. Measuring and evaluating the standardization of two types of pottery vessels (i.e., jars with small bases [xiaopingdi guan 小平底罐] and saucers with pointed bottoms [jiandizhan 尖底盞]) reveal that potters employed different patterns for products to be used in different contexts. Vessels are more standardized at loci close to the sacrificial zone (where ritual paraphernalia were buried), while vessels used as burial goods tend to be smaller. Pottery production was loosely organized, ranging between individual and nucleated workshops, and widely distributed across loci both near the sacrificial zone and on the periphery of Jinsha. The sacrificial zone at the center of the settlement apparently created needs that promoted production activities. The presentation of multiple types of production in the Jinsha core, together with religious activities and public buildings, suggests not only multiple chaînes opératoires for objects but also communal activities and entangled social relations. Such gatherings and driving forces enabled different social groups to redress social tensions while promoting consensus. Crafters might have cooperated when necessary, but they were otherwise organized in a flexible manner, maintaining at most a loose network of production.
ISSN:0066-8435 (Print)
1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 2019 - Volume 58, Number 2 (Fall)

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