ANTHRO 1208 - Prehistoric Technology: Ancient China





Prof. Rowan Flad
Tues. and Thurs. 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Peabody 561

In this course we examine prehistoric technology through the lens of case studies from Chinese archaeology. We will begin with a focus on general concepts in the archaeology of technology. After providing this thematic foundation, we explore specific examples of technologies that have become a focus of archaeological attention in China: lithics, ceramics, plant and animal domesticates, architecture, hydrological engineering, textiles, metallurgy, divination technology and writing.

Through this focus on technology, the course provides an overview of Chinese prehistory and the basis for our current understanding of the origins and early developments in Chinese civilization. Other important themes referenced in the class include the emergence and migration of modern hominins, the origins of agriculture, animal domestication, and sedentary villages, early urbanism, changes in burial practices and religion, ritual, writing, and production, the development of complex society, and the presentation of archaeological information in modern contexts.