Program

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Postodctoral Fellowships (North America) , Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

Project

Consumption and Production: A Preliminary Zooarchaeological Analysis of the Late Shang (ca. 1250-1050 B.C.) Tiesanlu Bone Workshop at Anyang

Project

The Huayuanzhuang Oracle-bones in Context

Consumption and Production: A Preliminary Zooarchaeological Analysis of the Late Shang (ca. 1250-1050 B.C.) Tiesanlu Bone Workshop at Anyang

This project is the first systematic zooarchaeological analysis of a bone workshop at the Late Shang (ca. 1250-1050 BC) capital of Anyang. The chief collaboration is with Prof. Yuan Jing, China's pre-eminent zooarchaeologist. Prof Yuan is guiding and providing intensive on-site training in faunal analysis. This study is one of the few analyses of either production or faunal remains conducted to date at this crucial site and helps to fill a major lacuna. Preliminary observations of the extensive Tiesanlu workshop remains suggest that cattle dominated the assemblage and that hairpins were the major product. Given that cattle were high status animals sometimes used in the hundreds during royal sacrifice, were among the tribute items most frequently divined about by the king, and that scapulas of cattle were one of two major media of elite divination, the use of large quantities of cattle bone in the production of common hairpins seems both anomalous and suggestive of wider economic and ritual contexts. Could the Tiesanlu workshop represent second order production in a primary sacrificial economy? The Tiesanlu workshop offers a chance to conduct a pioneering study of production and economy at site of world archaeological importance while at the same time presenting a unique opportunity for additional training in a specialization badly needed in Chinese archaeology.

The Huayuanzhuang Oracle-bones in Context