Class time: M/W/F 2:00-2:50 PM
What do Peking Man, human sacrifice, buried armies, lost cities, silk routes and treasure fleets have to do with one another? Discover East Asian archaeology and find out! Asia’s history is long, rich, and varied. It is also being re-written by spectacular new discoveries little known in the West.
This course will introduce you to the exciting world of East and Southeast Asian archaeology. Beginning with the earliest hominid inhabitants through the emergence of agriculture, early cities, empires, and world trade we will explore East Asia's long past through a colorful palimpsest of archaeological discovery.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history and civilizations of East Asia through the lens of archaeology. From Paleolithic origins to pre-modern empires East Asia has a rich and varied history. It is, moreover a history that is both poorly known in the West and constantly being re-written through archaeological discovery. Through themes and case studies of archaeological sites and discoveries this course will give students a taste of archaeological excitement and at the same a broadened understanding of the world’s civilizations. Students will be encouraged to explore their interests within the broad scope of the course more fully through a short research essay and a final research project delivered as a class presentation. Academically this course will hone a wide range of skills from distilling and retaining information for exams, researching and writing an essay, working in groups and presenting in public.
Requirements and grading:
This course will be lecture based with some opportunities for discussion. There will be one short research essay based on one of the weekly themes or case studies, a mid-term exam of multiple-choice and short answer questions and a final, group presentation on an East Asian archaeology topic of their choice. Attendance and participation in class and wiki discussion will be graded.
Short Essay: 20%
Mid-term Exam: 30%
Final Presentation: 30%
Short Essay: Students have one short essay (1500 words) to write on a weekly theme or case study of their choice. Expansion and exploration is key here: a significant portion of this assignment’s assessment will be based on the student’s ability to do their own research related to a weekly topic or theme. The deadline for handing in this essay is the final week of class but essays will be accepted (and encouraged) earlier.
Mid-term Exam: This exam will test student’s knowledge of course materials covered up until the date of the exam. The format will be multiple-choice and short answer questions. The exam will be 40 minutes long.
Final Presentation: The final presentation will be a 10-minute, in-class presentation of a small group (3-4 students) research project on a course-related topic or archaeological case study of the students’ choice. Projects must be approved by the instructor beforehand.
Readings and Class Preparation:
The weekly readings for the course will range between 100 and 150 pages and never exceed 50 pages of preparation for a single class. Due to the rapid pace of Asian archaeological discovery, the wide-ranging and multi-media material of the course and my desire for creativity and flexibility in design and execution, not all readings have been specified in the syllabus and some that have will likely change. Readings (and changes to readings) will be posted to the wiki (either the reading itself or the reference) at least one week in advance.
Wednesday Jan 27th: Lecture – Discovering East Asian Archaeology (Aims and scope of course).
Friday January 29th: Lecture – East and Southeast Asia – Background
Readings: Barnes Preface and Chapter 1 (pp. 7-13, 16-27); Glover and Bellwood Foreword and Chapter 1 (pp. xviii-xxi, 4-12).
East Asian Origins
Monday February 1st:
Peking Man and the discovery of Zhoukoudian
Reading: Barnes (pp. 42-48); TIME 1936 article; read Unesco site intro http://www.unesco.org/ext/field/beijing/whc/pkm-site.htm; Binford 1985.
Reading: Barnes (pp 48-54); Thorne and Wolpoff; Hong et al.; Tattersol; “Asian Hominids Grow Older”.
Friday February 5th:
Early South East Asian Migrations and the Hobbits of Indonesia
Reading: Glover and Bellwood (map on pp 8, pp. 12-17); “The Littlest Humans”; “Rethinking the Hobbits of Indonesia”; “Out of Africa and into Asia”
Agriculturalists and Foragers
Monday February 8th:
Early Domestication North and South: Yuchanyan and Cishan
Reading: Glover and Bellwood (pp. 23); Barnes (pp. 55-68, 92-107) http://www.bu.edu/asianarc/field_projects/fp_yuchanyan1.html (read Yuchanyan website); http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090601/full/news.2009.534.html (check out some of the comments posted);
Wednesday February 10th:
The Affluent Foragers of Japan: The Jomon
Reading: Barnes 69-92; http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/just-what-was-so-amazing-about-jomon-japan/; http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/just-what-was-so-amazing-about-jomon-japan/ways-of-the-jomon-world-2/viewpoints-on-the-jomon-village/; additional readings posted on the wiki.
Friday February 12th:
Domestication: Revolution or Gradual Process? The Great Rice Debate!
Readings: Liu et al. 2007 (4 pages); Fuller et al. 2007 (13 pages); Liu et al. response (21 pages)
Emerging Elites: the Complexity of Social Complexity
Monday February 15th:
Goddess Temples and Jade Burials: the Hongshan and Liangzhu Cultures
Readings: Barnes (pp. 108-118), other readings posted to the wiki.
Wednesday February 17th:
Regional Surveys and Settlement Hierarchies: Mapping the Emergence of East Asia’s First Cities