(Acta Archaeologica Sinica)
No. 1, 2015
The Study on the Early Burials in the Western Himalaya Region
The Change of the Distribution of the Settlements in the Han Dynasty -- Focused on the Analysis to the Distances of the Burials from the County Seats
Nanjing Museum et al.,
The Excavation of the Dongshancun Site of Neolithic Age in Zhangjiagang City
Anyang Archaeological Team, CASS,
The Excavation of the Tombs of the Tang and Song Dynasties at Liujiazhuang Locus North in Anyang City, Henan
THE STUDY ON THE EARLY BURIALS IN THE WESTERN HIMALAYA REGION
In recent years, Chinese archaeologists conducted a series of surveys and excavations in western Tibet, by which some remains before the Tubo Empire which showed that the features of the early cultures in this region were different from that of the cultures in the central and eastern Tibet. In the last 20 years, the archaeological works to the south of Himalayas was also just started, which also found remains with roughly same dates with the archaeological remains in western Tibet. Considering that the western Tibet in a broader sense has been a relatively intact “historic world”, these archaeological finds are suitable to be discussed as a whole to reveal the development of the early civilizations in the mountainous western Himalaya region and the cultural interactions in the relatively isolated geographic areas. Aimed on this, focused on the early burials found in western Tibet in recent years and compared with the archaeological materials of the northwestern Nepal and northwestern India, this paper preliminarily divided the archaeological remains before the 7th century AD found in western Himalaya region into three phases (13th to 6th centuries BC, 6th century BC to 2nd century AD and 2nd to 6th centuries AD), summarized the pottery assemblages of these phases and areas, and trans-regionally compared the location selection of cemeteries, funeral customs and grave goods; with the results of these studies, this paper pointed out that in the late 1st millennium BC to the early 1st millennium AD, similar burial cultures were distributed in the western Himalaya area, from which clear cultural elements of eastern Tibet and Tarim Basin are seen, reflecting the important role played by the long-distance trans-Himalayan trade lasted to the present in the early stage of the social development in the mountainous areas. This paper also identified the ethnic attribution of the archaeological remains mentioned above, and believed that they belonged neither to “Mon” nor to “Dard”, but the most possibly to “Zhang Zhung”.
THE CHANGE OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SETTLEMENTS IN THE HAN DYNASTY -- FOCUSED ON THE ANALYSIS TO THE DISTANCES OF THE BURIALS FROM THE COUNTY SEATS
With the assumption that the burials and settlements are located almost together, this paper inferred the locations of the settlements through the distributions of the burials: in this work, excavation reports and materials of several provinces published in the past are trimmed, and the distances between the cemeteries and county seats are calculated as precise as possible based on the coordinate data fetched by GPS surveying. The results showed that most of the burials of the Western Han Dynasty were distributed on the periphery of the county seats at that time, and based on this the fact that the common farmers were also living inside or nearby the county seats is confirmed. Moreover, this fact reflected that the state power was thoroughly put into effect based on the governing system of “bianhu qimin (registering common people)” in the Western Han Dynasty. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the settlements were not limited to the periphery of the county seats, and even scattered randomly in the areas far from them. These features coincided with the records about the collapse of the ruling clique because of the social turmoil and the formation and distribution of the new settlements in the places far from the county seats caused by the construction of castles and manors by the aristocrats and despots. These situations also interpreted the fact that it was rather difficult for the state power to be carried out thoroughly into the settlements compared to that in the Western Han Dynasty. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the old ruling methods were somewhat restricted and new ruling forms were attempted, and the distribution pattern of the settlements could provide a reason for this attempt. It is hardly to identify a settlement to be a natural village or an administrative village, but the fact that in the Western Han Dynasty the settlements were concentrated at the periphery of the county seats proved that the intentional organizations could not appear without the influence of the state powers, so these settlements had strong flavor of administrative villages. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the new settlements were formed far from the county seats, and therefore they would have more features of natural villages.
THE EXCAVATION OF THE DONGSHANCUN SITE OF NEOLITHIC AGE IN ZHANGJIAGANG CITY
Nanjing Museum, Zhangjiagang Municipal Bureau for Cultural Heritage Management and Zhangjiagang Museum
The two terms of rescue excavations conducted to Dongshancun Site in August through November 2008 and March 2009 through February 2010 uncovered areas of about 2300 sq m in total. The excavations revealed a settlement of Songze Culture, which included house foundations, ash pits, burials, etc., and recovered a set of high-ranking large burials of the early and mid phases of Songze Culture for the first time in the circum-Lake Tai area. All of the small burials of Songze Culture were found in Zone I of the site, all of the house foundations were found in Zone II and all of the high-ranking large burials were found in Zone III. In addition, several dozens of burials of Majiabang Culture were also recovered. The remains of Majiabang Culture belonged to the late phase of this culture and could roughly be divided into two stages, the early and the late. The remains of Songze Culture could be divided into three phases and six sub-phases, the dates of which were 5200-6000 BP.
The high-ranking burials of Songze Culture found in Dongshancun Site filled up the blank of the high-ranking burials of Songze Culture and found the origin of the highly developed Liangzhu Civilization, and provided new materials for the new understanding of the comprehensive feature and the developing level of the social productivity of Songze Culture in the circum-Lake Tai region. The separate arrangement of the large and small burials and the emergence of the large house foundations in the early and mid Songze Culture showed that at least in 5800 BP, the clear social polarization and social stratification have appeared, provided new archaeological materials for the research on the civilization procedures in the lower reach of Yangtze River, and are also significantly meaningful for the research on the origination of the Chinese Civilization.
THE EXCAVATION OF THE TOMBS OF THE TANG AND SONG DYNASTIES AT LIUJIAZHUANG LOCUS NORTH IN ANYANG CITY, HENAN
Anyang Archaeological Team of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Located in the core area of the North China Plain, Anyang is a good place for human habitation; in addition to the famous Yinxu Site, the remains and relics of all of the periods from the Paleolithic Age to the Ming and Qing Dynasties are also densely distributed in Anyang and important discoveries occurred frequently. Three tombs presented in this report belonged to the mid and late Tang Dynasty and one belonged to the mid through late Northern Song Dynasty. Compared to the tombs of the same periods in Chang'an and Luoyang areas, which were mostly earthen cave tombs, the tombs in Anyang area had their own characteristics; the brick-chamber tombs simulating wooden structures were popular, and brick carvings and murals were widely applied as tomb decorations, which were mostly the imitations of the courtyards and houses of the tomb occupants when they were alive. The brick-chamber tombs simulating wooden structures were still popular down to the late Northern Song Dynasty. The two mural tombs of the late Tang Dynasty excavated this time were the second and third mural tombs found in Anyang area; they had been looted before excavation, but the murals were well preserved. The murals were drawn with ink lines, the motifs of which were the family living and serving; on the walls of the tomb passage, carriages and horses were painted; on that of the corridor, servants and maids in serving posture were painted. On the north wall of the tomb chamber, door and windows simulating wooden ones were craved. On the east wall, wooden suitcases, lamp stands and maids were painted; the eastern part of the south wall was the scene of preparing and serving tea, and the western part was that of serving dressing. The west wall of the tomb chamber was decorated with a large bird-and-flower painting. The women figures in the murals all had high chignons and worn blossoming flowers, and the style of curbing the forehead with hair band was seldom seen in other regions. The murals would be the reappearance of the daily lives of the tomb occupants or the lives they were longing for, and the intentions of painting them in the tombs would be to bless the offspring to be rich and powerful and the family to be prolific, and to ensure the dead to enjoy the rich and peaceful afterlife. The three stone caskets with frustum lids unearthed from the three tombs have had counterparts with same shape unearthed from the crypt of Famen Temple, but whether they had the same meanings is still waiting for further research. The tombs of the Tang and Song Dynasties at Liujiazhuang Locus North provided valuable materials for the studies on the lifestyle and funeral customs in Anyang area during the Tang and Song Dynasty and the development of the bird-and-flower paintings of the Tang Dynasty.