Category Archives: Asian Perspectives

Asian Perspectives, vol. 55, no. 2 (2016)

From “Aleti Tunu Bibi: Contextualizing a New Rock Art Site in East Timor and the Wider Asia-Pacific Region” in this issue. Calcite veil formed in 2015 over rock paintings in Panel 3 (above); enhanced image using DStretch by Jon Harman, V.7.0, April 2010 ( below). Photo by Jean-Christophe Galipaud 2015.

In the Editors’ Note  Mike T. Carson and Rowan K. Flad write:

The current issue of Asian Perspectives (Volume 55, issue 2) maintains the tradition of keeping readers in touch with new archaeological research findings, approaches, and ideas across the Asia-Pacific region. As always, each work has a geographic focus that refers to substantive datasets from particular places as concrete examples, yet is broadly relevant to research in other regions. Looking into the journal’s future volumes and issues, we invite new manuscripts that emphasize the larger implications of Asian and Pacific archaeological studies beyond geographic boundaries .

This issue of Asian Perspectives also features the following scholarly works: Continue reading

Asian Perspectives, vol. 55, no. 1 (2016)

From Palaeoecology and Forager Subsistence Strategies during the Pleistocene – Holocene Transition: A Reinvestigation of the Zooarchaeological Assemblage from Spirit Cave, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand in this issue. Cut marks present on a right rib of a Sambar deer ( Rusa unicolor) ( L ayer 2a — S C-00078). Image A taken at 1x magnification on a Nikon SMZ1500 stereomicroscope attached to a SPOT Insight FireWire digital camera; close-up image B taken at 2x. Macro-photograph courtesy of Hannah G. Van Vlack.

In Palaeoecology and Forager Subsistence Strategies during the
Pleistocene–Holocene Transition: A Reinvestigation of the
Zooarchaeological Assemblage from Spirit Cave, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand authors Cyler Conrad, Charles Higham, Masaki Eda, and Ben Marwick write:

This reanalysis uses the zooarchaeological assemblage recovered from Spirit Cave to understand hunter-gatherer use and occupation at the site during the Pleistocene – Holocene transition. W e analyze bone fragmentation, sample size, and relative abundance to establish the preservation and overall composition of the remaining fauna. Identification of several new taxa, including roundleaf bats (Hipposideros larvatus and bicolor), elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata), black marsh turtle (Siebenrockiella crassicollis), Burmese hare ( Lepus cf. peguensis) and a potential red junglefowl ( Phasianidae — ?Gallus gallus) provide insights into hunter-gatherer occupation, palaeoecology, and subsistence strategies between 12,000 and 7000 years b.p.

This issue of Asian Perspectives also features the following scholarly works: Continue reading

Asian Perspectives, vol. 54, no. 2 (2015)

Fig. 10. The curious depiction of the “steamship”: 1) square block amidships; 2) line linking the foreward section of the boat to the bow; 3) thick horizontal line at the stern; 4) cabin; 5–7) cabin sections. Photograph by Noel Hidalgo Tan. "The Curious Case of the Steamship on the Mekong" The depiction of the steamship in Tham Phum, a sacred cave with a long religious tradition and connections with the royal court in Luang Prabang, suggests the painting had some sort of commemorative function. We speculate that it may have been painted to memorialize the sinking of La Grandière in 1910 or the Trentinian in 1928.

Photo by Noel Hidalgo Tan
The “steamship” as mentioned in The Curious Case of the Steamship on the Mekong in this issue. The article speculates that the depiction of the steamship in Tham Phum, a sacred cave with a long religious tradition, might have been painted to memorialize the sinking of La Grandière in 1910 or the Trentinian in 1928.

This issue of Asian Perspectives features the following scholarly works:


Landscape Evolution and Human Settlement Patterns on Ofu Island, Manu’s Group, American Samoa
Seth Quintus, Jeffery T. Clark, Stephanie S. Day, and Donald P. Schwert

Obscuring the Line between the Living and the Dead: Mortuary Activities inside the Grave Chambers of the Eastern Han Dynasty,
Zhou Ligang

The Curious Case of the Steamship on the Mekong
Noel Hidalgo Tan and Veronica Walker-Vadillo Continue reading

Asian Perspectives, vol. 54, no. 1 (2015)

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE

Special Issue: Current Perspectives on Korean Prehistory


Korean Prehistory: Current Perspectives
Christopher J. Bae and Bumcheol Kim, 1

Recent Developments and Debates in Korean Prehistoric Archaeology
Seung-Og Kim, 11

Potential Contributions of Korean Pleistocene Hominin Fossils to Palaeoanthropology: A View from Ryonggok Cave
Christopher J. Bae and Pierre Guyomarc’h, 31

The Korean Early Palaeolithic: Patterns and Identities
Hyeong Woo Lee, 58

Diversity of Lithic Assemblages and Evolution of Late Palaeolithic Culture in Korea
Chuntaek Seong, 91

Sedentism, Settlements, and Radiocarbon Dates of Neolithic Korea
Sung-Mo Ahn, Jangsuk Kim, Jaehoon Hwang, 113

Socioeconomic Development in the Bronze Age: Archaeological Understanding of the Transition from the Early to Middle Bronze Age, South Korea
Bumcheol Kim, 144

Transition from the Prehistoric Age to the Historic Age: The Early Iron Age on the Korean Peninsula
Kisung Yi, 185

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Asian Perspectives, vol. 53, no. 2 (2014)


Ceramic Firing Structures in Prehistoric and Ancient Societies of the Russian Far East
Irina S. Zhushchikhovskaya, Yury G. Nikitin, 121
Archaeological records reveal the history of pottery and roof-tile firing devices in the southern part of the Russian Far East, the neighboring Korean Peninsula, and northeast China. Chronological parameters are from the first millennium B.C. through the thirteenth century A.D., including the Palaeometal period of the Prehistory epoch, Pre-State period, and Early States epoch. Different types of firing kilns varied in complexity of form and technology, including the tunneled sloping kiln, manthou kiln, and vertical up-draught kiln. These specific characteristics reflect the involvement of the ancient southern Russian Far East in the processes of cultural interaction within the larger East Asia region.
southern Russian Far East, ceramic firing kilns, Prehistory epoch, Pre-State period, Early States epoch

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Asian Perspectives, vol. 53, no. 1 (2014)

Editors’ Note, 1


Mapping Local Perspectives in the Historical Archaeology of Vanuatu Mission Landscapes
James L. Flexner, 2
The concept of place is a powerful theoretical tool in the social sciences and humanities, which can be especially useful in archaeological work that involves community-based collaboration. Using place as a starting point, archaeologists can beneficially use their skills to answer questions that are of relevance to the local communities with which we work while also advancing knowledge about the past. For historical archaeology, this often involves engaging in dialogue across multiple lines of evidence, including material remains from the past, written documents, and local oral traditions. Recent fieldwork on the islands of Erromango and Tanna, Vanuatu, exploring early landscapes relating to Christian conversion uses this kind of approach. A major part of preliminary survey work involves mapping features in the mission sites and surrounding areas. Archaeological cartographic techniques help build a sense of place that provides engaging research for a collaborative environment with local Melanesian communities, while also producing new perspectives on colonialism in the South Pacific. This approach is not limited to the recent past, being applicable to any collaborative, community-based archaeological research that incorporates the use of oral traditions.
Melanesia, historical archaeology, Vanuatu, missions, landscape archaeology, mapping, oral traditions, community archaeology
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Asian Perspectives, vol. 52, no. 2 (2013)

Special Topic Articles: Landscape Archaeology in Southeast Asia


Defining Ifugao Social Organization: “House,” Field, and Self-Organizing Principles in the Northern Philippines
Stephen Acabado, 161

The idea that complex agricultural and irrigation systems lead to centralized control has been refuted in the last three decades. Indeed, ethnographic and archaeological literatures regarding this relationship have been forthcoming in recent years. This article contributes to this body of work by investigating the Ifugao agricultural system. Spatial patterning and ethnographic information from Ifugao suggest that a recursive relationship between the landscape and its users exist where environmental constraints necessitate cooperation among terraced rice field systems. Correlated to this discussion, this article examines the applicability of the “house” concept in defining Ifugao social organization. Results of my ethnographic investigations suggest that the house concept complements kinship analysis, and thus, contributes to a better understanding of Ifugao social relationships. Moreover, this article argues that the agricultural field becomes the node of Ifugao social relationships. In this sense, the agricultural field becomes an emergent property that defines Ifugao social organization. This study provides archaeologists with a model to investigate the precolonial social structure of the Ifugao.

Keywords: landscape, Ifugao, Philippines, house, emergence, self-organization, agriculture
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