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HomeSpecial EventsSEAA conference 2008, BeijingTentative panels
Tentative Panels (update: January 23, 2008)
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2007-09-19


New Insights into the archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age
Organized by:
Lothar von Falkenhausen
Xu Hong
Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Recent work on Bronze Age archaeology using a variety of new approaches has incrementally changed our perspectives on this formative period.  In order to generate a dialogue among specialists with different backgrounds, the organizers have invited a number of mostly junior scholars to present cutting-edge research.  Themes to be addressed include: Origins of Chinese metallurgy and its role in the genesis of state-level social complexity; the advent of writing, its cultural role, and the connections between texts and archaeological finds; local cultural sequences vs. centripetal sociopolitical trends; settlement history; the development of economic systems and trade; transasiatic connections.
Comparative Study of Early Complex Societies in East Asia and the World
Organized by: Li Liu and Xingcan Chen
Liu Li
La Trobe University
Xingcan Chen
Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Archaeological data from East Asia have accumulated rapidly in recent years, providing great opportunities for comparative research between this region and other parts of the world. This panel aims to bring together archaeologists who conduct research with broad geographic range in world archaeology and are interested in general patterns of social change from a cross-culture perspective. Participants are encouraged to compare archaeological data from different regions in East Asia, as well as East Asian research findings, as appropriate, with those from other parts of the world. We intend to cover diverse themes, ranging from the origins and development of food production, sedentism and material technologies (lithics, pottery, etc.), to socio-political change and early state formation.
Early Complex Societies in the Sichuan Basin and Surrounding Areas
Rowan Flad
Harvard University
In the last two decades discoveries in Sichuan , Yunnan , Guizhou , and adjacent areas have documented a variety of evidence for complex societies in the late Neolithic, Bronze Age and early Imperial Period in this previously understudied region.  This panel seeks to present these various new bodies of evidence and explore what these data illuminate about the nature of social complexity in the region.  Papers will consider the definition and identification of social complexity, craft specialization, interregional interaction, urbanization, gender and ethnicity, regional integration, corporate ideologies, and related issues. 
Human Adaptation and Socio-Political Change in Northeast China with a Focus on the Chifeng Region.
Organized by: Gideon SHELACH
Professor, Department of East Asian Studies
The Hebrew University                           
This panel focuses on the archaeology of the Chifeng region of Northeast China. Cumulatively the papers addresses processes of economic adaptation and socio-political transformations that occurred in this region from the beginning of agriculture and sedentary life way, during the 7th and 6th millennia BCE, to the maturation of the Bronze-age societies during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE.  Many papers in this panel are by members of the Chifeng International Collaborative Archaeological Project (CICARP) and analyze data that was generated by this project. Supplementing them are papers by scholars who work on other projects in this region and had access to different data sets. Together we hope to illuminate the multifaceted nature of the processes we address and to make the archaeology of northeast China more accessible to people working in other parts of East Asia and other parts of the world.
Prehistoric Archaeology of South China and Southeast Asia
Organized by: Fu Xianguo, Lu, Lie Dan and Li Guo
Fu Xianguo
Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Lu Lie Dan
Associate Professor
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Li Guo
Associated Professor
City University of Hong Kong
The prehistoric archaeology of South China and Southeast Asia is important for us to understand cultural development and human diaspora in prehistoric Asia and the Pacific. It is an area with rich natural resources, unique lithic technologies and ceramic tradition, as well as diversified subsistence strategies and food cultures. This panel aims to provide a forum for scholars working on various aspects and different areas in this region to exchange new data and new ideas, and to identify new directions for further archaeological and multi-disciplinary research.
Island Archaeology in East Asia – Interaction and Isolation
Organized by: Dr. Barbara Seyock
Senior researcher
Dep. of Asian Studies Munich University (Germany)
Questioning the notion of the sea as a barrier or as a means of exchange and communication, this panel attempts to examine the archaeologies of smaller islands round the East Asian coasts from a comparative perspective. Issues such as movements of people and/or cultural elements, spread of technologies and know-how, seafaring, maritime trade and exchange, development of cultural specifics, island-mainland relations, island landscapes and environmental change are brought together here. The dichotomy of islands as places of interaction and isolation thus serves as a framework for a discussion of the distinctiveness of island cultures.
Inter-regional interaction in East Asian Prehistory and History
Organized by: Francis Allard
Assistant Professor
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
This panel focuses on the nature and impact of inter-regional interaction as it informs our understanding of East Asian prehistory and history. Emerging from access to a larger archaeological data base than ever before, as well as to relevant theoretical models, the papers refine, and on occasion contest, models of culture change that recognize the effect of cross-cultural and regional contact. Significantly, such contact is seen to channel the movement of ideas, objects, and/or people, all of which have the potential to impact the development of regional socio-political hierarchies.
Vietnamese Archaeology
Le Lien Thi
Senior Researcher
Deputy-Head, Department of Historical Archeology
Institute of Archaeology (Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences)
Methods and Issues in the Zooarchaeology of East Asia
Organized by: YUAN Jing, Richard H. MEADOW, and Ajita K. PATEL
Yuan Jing
Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Richard H. Meadow
Director, Zooarchaeology Laboratory and Senior-Lecturer on Anthropology
Peabody Museum, Harvard University
Ajita K. Patel
Research Assistant in Zooarchaeology
Peabody Museum, Harvard University
Thousands of excavations carried in East Asia have produced masses of animal remains from sites of all periods. Study of these materials includes varied approaches and techniques that range from taxonomic identification through statistical and taphonomic analysis to seasonality, isotopic, and genetic studies. Issues concern exploitation of wild resources, transition from hunting and gathering to animal husbandry, development of different kinds of pastoral lifestyles and their spread, provisioning urban settlements, movement of humans and animals across the landscape, among many others. This panel is provides an opportunity to discuss these issues and methodologies in the context of the multi-faceted archaeology of East Asia.
The contribution of glass study to East Asian archaeology
Organized by: James Lankton and Phyllis Lin
James Lankton
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
UCL Institute of Archaeology                        
While glass artefacts and, in a few cases, evidence for primary and secondary glass production (making glass from raw materials versus the craft production of vessels and beads), have been found at sites in East Asia, the interpretation of this glass data has lagged behind, since it depends on an understanding of both the archaeological context and the excavated glass itself.
This panel will examine the ways to study glass artefacts, particularly in terms of chemical composition, with a focus on newer, less invasive methods. In addition, case studies will illustrate how glass compositional evidence can greatly increase our understanding of the past.
Some New Practices in Taiwanese Archaeological Research
Organized by: Pochan Chen and Maa-ling Chen
Maa-ling Chen
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology, National Taiwan University
Pochan Chen
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology, National Taiwan University
Due to some new developments in the theories and methods of world archaeology, a new generation of Taiwanese archaeologists emerged and started to practice some new research approaches in dealing with Taiwanese archaeological data.  This is in an attempt to make a dialogue with these theories and methods as well as with archaeologists in other areas.  The other purposes are to evaluate the adoptability of these approaches to Taiwanese archaeology and to establish a new understanding of Taiwanese archaeology and history.  These studies cover a time period from prehistory to history, and the topics include the site formation process, spatial analysis, analytical unit of archaeological research, ceramic technical chain operation and chronological definition, population immigration and its impact on indigenous cultures, and Jade technology.  All these gave rise to a new generation of Taiwanese archaeologists who aim to reach out to world archaeology and bring enlightenment to archaeological research in order to gain more knowledge on the establishment of archaeology.
Mortuary analysis in Chinese Archaeology
Organized by: Dr. Guolong Lai
Assistant Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology
University of Florida
Discussants: Dr. Audrey Spiro and Dr. Suzanne Cahill
Most theoretical writings on mortuary studies have been focused on prehistoric and protohistoric periods. This panel, however, with four papers on the Warring States and Han to Tang mortuary data presents some of the theoretic issues in the mortuary studies of the historic periods in Chinese archaeology. These issues center on such key concepts as the arrangement and transformation of burial space and the dynamics of cultural interaction and social symbolism in mortuary practices. This panel as a whole also attempts to examine diachronic transformations in mortuary practice in ancient China, and to address methodologically the challenges in combining material, visual, and textual data in mortuary studies.
Funerary Systems in Northeast Asia: The Formation and Development of Regional Cultures
Organized by: Ariane Perrin
Research Associate
UMR 8173  China-Korea-Japan  EHESS-CNRS
The study of the various burial traditions followed during the 4th and 5th centuries in Northeast Asia is as yet difficult to apprehend since this region was a zone of interaction occupied by several groups whose migrations and territorial boundaries are not precisely known. Through analysis of burial remains associated with the Xianbei, the Puyo, the Han commanderies and Koguryo, this panel seeks to determine how and to what extent mortuary practices can be associated with a specific group, a culture or a region. Are there local characteristics in the construction, furnishing, and decoration of burials within the same group? The panel aims at identifying the tangible elements with which to help classify these various funerary traditions.
Identification, preservation and study of ancient wooden relics in East Asia
Organized by: Takao Itoh and Mechtild Mertz
Takao Itoh
Emeritous professor
Kyoto University, Japan
Mechtild Mertz
College of Wood Science and Technology, Nanjing Forestry University
Public archaeology in the present and recent past in East Asia
Organized by: Tim Schadla-Hall and Akira Matsuda
Tim Schadla-Hall
Institute of Archaeology, University College London
Akira Matsuda
PhD candidate
Institute of Archaeology, University College London
This panel examines aspects of public archaeology in the present and recent past in East Asia (China, Japan and Korea) by highlighting the importance of understanding the wider role of archaeological work within society, in terms of political, social and economic aspects of our subject and emphases the need for archaeologists to examine their wider roles within, and impacts upon the public. A particular stress is placed on the discussion of how archaeology is (or is not) associated with the identity of people living in East Asia, and whether there is any inter-regional similarity and/or difference in this association.
Jade Age Jades and Jade Age Material Sources
Organized by: Elizabeth Childs-Johnson
Old Dominion University
A Century of Preserving Archaeological Heritage in East Asia: An Inter-disciplinary Approach to Japanese Fieldwork, Collecting, and the Re-construction of Monuments
Organized by: Hyung Il Pai
Hyung Il Pai
Visiting Research Professor 07-08
International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Discussant; Fumiko-Ikawa Smith (Mc Gill University, Canada)
This panel reviews how the politics of colonialism and nationalism have impacted a century of Japanese art and archaeological surveys, the inventorying and exhibitions of objects and the ranking and re-constructions of treasures and monuments. By taking an inter-disciplinary and inter-regional approach to the multi-dimensional facets of heritage management, we will cover issues : tourist development vs. site preservation, emperor system and buried properties administration, the introduction of photography as a classificatory and recording tool, and how museum collections have impacted the cultural landscape from the People’s Republic of China, to Korea and Japan today.
New data and issues of archaeobotany in East Asia.
Organized by: Gary CRAWFORD, Hiroki OBATA, Zhijun ZHAO
Zhao Zhijun
Professor, Institute of Archaeology, CASS
This panel focuses on several new issues in East Asian archaeobotany including the domestication of millets (foxtail millet, broomcorn millet and barnyard millet), the cultigen status of early rice remains found in China (Shangshan site, Jiahu site, Tianloushan site, etc.), the origin of early crops found in the Russian Far East (barley and millets), the origin and characteristics of early agriculture in Korea, the origin of agriculture in Japan (including the issue on the beginning of the Yayoi agriculture), etc. Speakers will include scholars who study plant remains from East Asia. The goal of this panel is to promote discussion and comparison of recent archaeobotanical research results in East Asia.
Eurasian metallurgy and society
Organized by: Zhang Liangren
Zhang Liangren
University of Southern California
Bioarchaeology Research in East Asia
Organized by: Ekaterina Pechenkina
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology, Queens College of the City University of New York
A principal objective of this panel is to provide an international group of scholars a forum in which to discuss the roles of local mobility and long distance migration in shaping the lifeways of ancient communities in East Asia. Some of the specific themes include: the introduction and distribution of new pathogens; changes in subsistence and food processing techniques; as well as the dynamics of growth during childhood, along with early morbidity and mortality.
The past in contemporary China: new directions and challenges
Roundtable forum at the Society for East Asian Archaeology meeting
Organized by: Luisa Mengoni and Magnus Fiskesjö
Luisa Mengoni
Research Fellow
Archaeology, University College London
Magnus Fiskesjö
Associate Professor
Anthropology, Cornell University
Cultural heritage is becoming increasingly important in the cultural, political and social life of China. This panel aims to explore how concepts of the past have developed and being promoted in modern and contemporary China, and how these notions have affected national policies, international relations and local practices, especially in a period of rapid economic development and increasing globalisation. The promotion of world heritage sites, the rapid growth of national and private museums, the increase in management plans for archaeological sites, and the development of cultural tourism are only the most visible aspects of a larger phenomenon, which is contributing to shape new forms of identity and belonging within and outside China.

Paleolithic Archaeology in East Asia
Chen SHEN (PhD, Curator, Royal Ontario Museum) chens[at]rom.on.ca
GAO Xing (Professor, The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The proposed session will present recent studies on archaeological materials of the Late Pleistocene period in order to evaluate new evidence for issues on the transition to Upper Palaeolithic and the origin of modern human in China. Our particular focuses will be on new data referring to a period between 100,000 to 50,000 BP. Given the increasing numbers of archaeological sites with human fossils found in the Three Gorges/western Hubei mountainous region, this area has become a focus of research on the local evolution of anatomically modern human in East Asia. Derived from these new data, our discussion will be extended to formulate new approaches and new perspectives to researches on adaptive behaviors of modern human and variability of lithic technology of the Upper Palaeolithic. We hope to put together a series of studies to test the evolutional model of the "continuity with hybridization." New findings from China will continue to stimulate what hopes to be a fruitful debate on the issue of the human origin
Prehistoric Landscape Shifts in the East Asian Inland Seas
Organized by: Junzo Uchiyama (RIHN), Hideyuki Onishi (Dr., RIHN), Ilona Bausch (Dr., Leiden University, Holland)
Junzo Uchiyama
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan
Considering that the concept of "cultural landscape" has become an important issue in various national/international protection programmes in recent years, it is crucial to understand the cultural formation mechanisms from the viewpoint of landscape archaeology.  Taking the broadest definition of landscape including both a cultural and a natural side, this panel discusses what kind of landscape shifts occurred at the ages of prehistoric socio-economic changes, and assesses their influences.  The focus area will be the East Asian inland sea, i.e. the Japan Sea and the East China Sea rims, covering major inter-regional trading and collision spots of East Asia.
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