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Archaeology of Asia

Miriam T. Stark (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-0213-1
384 pages
August 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Archaeology of Asia (1405102136) cover image
This introduction to the archaeology of Asia focuses on case studies from the region’s last 10,000 years of history.

  • Comprises fifteen chapters by some of the world’s foremost Asia archaeologists
  • Sheds light on the most compelling aspects of Asian archaeology, from the earliest evidence of plant domestication to the emergence of states and empires
  • Explores issues of cross-cultural significance, such as migration, urbanism, and technology
  • Presents original research data that challenges readers to think beyond national and regional boundaries
  • Synthesizes work previously unavailable to western readers
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Series Editors' Preface vii

List of Figures and Tables viii

Notes on Contributors xi

Part I Introduction 1

1 Contextualizing an Archaeology of Asia 3
Miriam T. Stark

Part II Contexts of Asian Archaeology 15

2 Some National, Regional, and Political Uses of Archaeology in East and Southeast Asia 17
Ian C. Glover

3 Archaeology in the Two Koreas 37
Sarah M. Nelson

4 Self-Identification in the Modern and Post-Modern World and Archaeological Research: A Case Study from Japan 55
Koji Mizoguchi

Part III Formative Developments 75

5 East Asian Plant Domestication 77
Gary W. Crawford

6 Asian Farming Diasporas? Agriculture, Languages, and Genes in China and Southeast Asia 96
Peter Bellwood

Part IV Emergence and Development of Complex Asian Systems 119

7 Early Communities in East Asia: Economic and Sociopolitical Organization at the Local and Regional Levels 121
Anne P. Underhill and Junko Habu

8 Sociopolitical Change from Neolithic to Bronze Age China 149
Li Liu and Xingcan Chen

9 Marks and Labels: Early Writing in Neolithic and Shang China 177
David N. Keightley

10 Secondary State Formation and the Development of Local Identity: Change and Continuity in the State of Qin (770–221 B.C.) 202
Gideon Shelach and Yuri Pines

Part V Crossing Boundaries and Ancient Asian States 231

11 Frontiers and Boundaries:The Han Empire from its Southern Periphery 233
Francis Allard

12 States on Horseback:The Rise of Inner Asian Confederations and Empires 255
William Honeychurch and Chunag Amartuvshin

13 Historicizing Foraging in South Asia: Power, History, and Ecology of Holocene Hunting and Gathering 279
Kathleen D. Morrison

14 The Axial Age in South Asia: The Archaeology of Buddhism (500 B.C.–A.D. 500) 303
Himanshu Prabha Ray

15 Imperial Landscapes of South Asia 324
Carla M. Sinopoli

Index 350

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Miriam T. Stark is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. She has worked in Southeast Asia since 1987, and also has experience in North American and Near Eastern archaeology. She has published widely on her research in the Philippines and in Cambodia, and currently co-directs the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project in the Mekong Delta.
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  • Comprises fifteen chapters by some of the world’s foremost Asia archaeologists.
  • Sheds light on the most compelling aspects of Asian archaeology, from the earliest evidence of plant domestication to the emergence of states and empires.
  • Explores issues of cross-cultural significance, such as migration, urbanism, and technology.
  • Presents original research data that challenges readers to think beyond national and regional boundaries.
  • Synthesizes work previously unavailable to western readers.
See More
“Miriam Stark has performed a monumental service to global archaeology by selecting the most important cross-cultural themes in Asian archaeology and many of the most innovative writers to discuss them.” Gina L. Barnes, University of Durham


“Offering remarkable coverage of the world’s largest continent, Stark has created an outstanding book that should be required reading for any archaeologist or historian interested in Asia.” John Olsen, University of Arizona

"This volume is the seventh in the series Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology, a series intended to cover the central areas of undergraduate archaeological teaching. While this is certainly a sustainable market for the series, this particular volume presents an overview and depth that will also, and perhaps more so, be a welcome addition to the libraries of postgraduate and research archaeologists ... Stark has assembled a valuable resource made all the more useful by not shying away from the scholarly and national politics reflected in so much Asian Archaeology" Australian Archaeology

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