Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Landscapes of Interaction: Ceramic Production and Exchange in Late Neolithic Northwestern China”
Speaker: Andrew Womack, McGill University
Time: November 16, 2018 (4:30-6:30 PM)
Location: Faculty House
*please check the announcement board in the first-floor lobby for room information
In the field of Chinese archaeology prehistoric groups are most often demarcated, both chronologically and geographically, through variations in ceramic form and surface treatment. While many archaeologists working in China have hypothesized about interregional interactions based on these metrics, few have investigated the fundamental nature of pottery production. My research takes a communities of practice approach to ceramic production during the Majiayao (马家窑) (3200-2000 BC) and Qijia (齐家) (2300-1500 BC) periods in northwestern China’s Gansu Province in order to examine potential shifts in ceramic exchange over time. A combination of petrographic, manufacturing mark, and use-alteration analysis is utilized to identify variation in pottery recovered from multiple Majiayao and Qijia habitation and mortuary sites. I then compare these results to examples from the ethnographic and archaeological record outside of China and hypothesize that despite persistence in many aspects of production, the location and meaning of exchange may have shifted significantly over time.