Colloquium Presentation

January 24, 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

James Williams

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

"Staple Economies and Social Integration in Northeast China: Regional Organization in Zhangwu, Liaoning, China" 

A public dissertation presentation

Friday, January 24th, 3:30 pm, 3106 WWPH Anthropology Lounge


This talk will focus on the subsistence economies of a region in Northeast China where environmental conditions are conducive to specialized mobile herding. According to a number of scholars, sedentary farmers left their farms to take up full time specialized mobile herding in Northeast China around 1200 BCE. The evidence for this shift is primarily art historical and from received histories. However, there is a lack of direct archaeological data in the region which can support this assertion. The talk will examine the environmental conditions, distribution of artifacts, the prehistoric demography, and the settlement patterning of human communities during the proposed shift. Based on the results of this dissertation research we can be more confident that the subsistence practices were tempered by local environmental contexts in nuanced ways not previously theorized. The patterns deviate from a well established narrative about Northeast China and force us to reexamine the process of narrative creation, which in turn develops new way in which to understand economic change.  


Location and Address

3106 WWPH Anthropology Lounge