“Kin, Crafts, and Co-residence in Neolithic North China (7000-2800 BC)”

The ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE of AMERICA and the

DEPARTMENT of LANGUAGES & LITERATURES of EUROPE & the AMERICAS, UNIVERSITY of HAWAII

invite you to

“Kin, Crafts, and Co-residence in Neolithic North China (7000-2800 BC)”
An Archaeology Lecture, Thursday May 6th, 7:30 PM

Architecture Auditorium, Architecture Building,

University of Hawaii at Manoa

by Dr. Christian Peterson
Assistant Professor of Anthropology in East Asian Archaeology,
University of Hawaii

A settled agricultural way of life was firmly established in the middle reaches of the Yellow River Valley of northern China by the beginning of the seventh millennium BC. Situated on the banks and floodplains of the slow-flowing tributaries of the Yellow, Wei, and Fen rivers in what are today Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, and Gansu provinces, these Early Neolithic agriculturists lived in compact villages of related and relatively undifferentiated households.

After another 2000 years, or by the beginning of the Middle Neolithic, village life in the Middle Yellow River Valley had undergone substantial changes. People were living in even more compact settlements, the regional distribution and internal inter-household interaction, and a fundamental reorganization of previous social and economic structures.

By no later than the mid-third millennium BC this reorganization had facilitated the emergence of regional-scale hierarchical societies. These earliest “chiefdoms” were followed by the widespread proliferation of even larger-scale, more complex, and more hierarchical societies in the Late Neolithic and protohistoric periods.

This lecture focuses on the formative (Early and Middle Neolithic) stages of complex societal development in the Middle Yellow River Valley. Several key social and economic transitions are identified and discussed within the context of longer-term patterns of societal change. Further attention to these changes may ultimately improve our understanding of the developmental prehistory of later Neolithic and Bronze Age societies in this area, and of societal evolution elsewhere.

For further information contact Prof. Robert Littman, littman@hawaii.edu