Leadership Strategies, Economic Activity, and Interregional by Gideon Shelach (auth.)

By Gideon Shelach (auth.)

An try and render chinese language archaeology extra obtainable to Western readers via an in depth case research of roughly 16,000 years of cultural improvement in northeastern China. the writer addresses prehistoric sociopolitical approaches within the Dongbei quarter via an research of either his and different researchers' box info and demonstrates the capability contribution of carrying out archaeological examine into anthropology-related matters in China.

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This line of inquiry includes questions such as the following: Were the peripheral polities passive receivers of influences from the core, or active players taking advantage of such interaction? Were all segments of the society equally involved and influenced by the interaction or were some parts of the society more actively involved than others? What other sociopolitical dimensions (ideological, political, economic) were associated with the interaction? Approaching regional and interregional interaction as an essential part of the social process entails an expansion of geographical perspectives.

Carrying their advanced culture, these foreign people supposedly replaced the indigenous population (killed? ) and their native culture. In all fairness it should be said that throughout the years as a prominent anthropological and archaeological concept, studies of diffusion evolved and gained in sophistication and precision. For example, between the 1940s and the early 1960s scholars attempted do identify diffusionary mechanisms ranging from the total replacement of the indigenous population to the movement of individuals or small groups, to the movement of artifacts or ideas without the movement of people through trade or border interactions.

The negative impact of the broad and vague definition of the diffusionist school has been discussed already. Accepting an a priori definition of the center and uncritically ascribing similarities in the material cultures of different areas to the process of diffusion from the center to its peripheries, these scholars make no systematic attempt to define the nature of centers and peripheries and to study the mechanisms and the nature of interaction among them. Less obvious are the negative effects of a narrow definition such as the recently popular adaptation of Wallerstein’s world-system theory to archaeology.

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