SEAA News Blog: Noteworthies
-- Chinese archaeologists announced Saturday that some new major discoveries have been made at the legendary Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest China, helping shed light on the unified, diverse origin of the Chinese civilization.
Greetings from SEAA! We have just published our first ever newsletter, which includes information on our upcoming online student conference, student paper awards, employment opportunities, and recent fieldwork. You ca view the entire newsletter here.
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5-minute Survey to Save Ancient Studies
Save Ancient Studies in America (SASA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in early 2020 as a reaction to the devaluation of the study of the ancient world in universities and high schools. Our director, David Danzig, and a group of 30 graduate students and early career scholars from leading universities around the world came together to build a platform to increase exposure, inspire engagement, and provide access to the study of the ancient world.
As part of SASA’s research project on the Downward Trend in Ancient Studies, we are working on understanding what draws people into Ancient Studies. Please spend 5 minutes to take this survey and help us work toward saving Ancient Studies. The results of this survey will help us analyze the variety of paths into our fields and to thereby better target SASA’s strategies for engaging young adults in the ancient world and attracting new students.
Survey link: >>>>> https://www.
Opening of the “Ceramic Stories” Exhibition at the Ceramic Specimen Collection in the Social Sciences Centre, Southern University of Science and Technology
By Gao Dalun, translated by Anke Hein
As the saying goes, “if you plant one seed of millet in the spring, you will harvest ten thousand grains in autumn.” After a year and a half of meticulous preparation, the archaeological ceramic specimen database of the Social Science Center has finally reached a preliminary completion. To display the full cultural and academic value of this archaeological achievement, allow for more people to learn about and make use of the collection to carry out archaeological research, and to stimulate the public's interest in archaeology and history, the Social Center held an opening ceremony for the "Ceramic Stories" exhibition on December 5, 2020. More than 40 researchers from archaeological and cultural institutions across the country gathered at the Southern University of Science and Technology to celebrate the completion of the collection. Among them were Prof. Zhou Yongming, Director of the Center for Social Sciences, Prof. Chen Yuehong, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Southern University of Science and Technology, Prof. Gao Dalun, former head of the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Archaeology and leading director of the Ceramic Specimen Collection at the Social Science Centre, Dr Yegor Grebnev, former doctoral and postdoctoral student at the University of Oxford and now postdoctoral researcher at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, and various researchers focusing on ceramic studies, among them Gao Xuyang, DPhil student at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, who assisted in preparing the exhibition.
James Loftus, a Ph.D. Candidate at Kyushu University has compiled a list of useful online databases and general resources related to Japanese archaeology. You can check it out in his article via the following link: https://digitalorientalist.com/2020/10/27/digital-resources-for-the-stud...
Discoveries: Japan’s oldest spinning top recently uncovered in ancient settlement with links to Korean immigrants
What is likely to be Japan’s oldest spinning tip was recently unearthed in the Minami-Shiga archaeological site in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. The site was thought to have been inhabited by immigrants from the Korean Peninsula. The top was unearthed together with other ceremonial items such as sacred spikes and peach seeds. Judging from pottery sherds found in the same ditch, the wooden spinning top, dates to the late Kofun period, which lasted from the late 6th to early 7th century.
Liangzhu Culture Management Committee and Shanghai Jiaotong University are currently working on a digital project for the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu city in China, which was inscribed on WHL last year. In order to create user-friendly digital platforms, we’re looking for non-Chinese culture lovers who have been to or are currently residing in mainland China to attend paid interviews. If you're interested in participating, please find more info on the flyer here.
A personal tribute to Sarah Nelson
Gina L. Barnes
Sarah Milledge Nelson (1931–2020) reached the ripe old age of 88 and a half before she succumbed to the long-standing leukemia and late developing kidney problems that led to her death on April 27th. These did not keep her from attending a conference in Germany in January where we last met – I have never known anyone more adventurous and ready to travel. She admitted that her family motto was “Why not? … especially if the question has ‘go’ in it”!
Sarah put enormous amounts of energy into her chosen fields of, first, Korean archaeology, then northeastern Chinese archaeology, and finally into gender studies. In the first two, she has been a path-breaker, treading where few Western women were allowed to go. In the latter, she was a pioneer in challenging patriarchical organization of archaeology, publishing, and fieldwork through her entire career, culminating in her book on Shamans, Queens, and Figurines cited below. For those who want to hear about her life in her words, she gives extensive autobiographical contexts for each stage of her research in this book; they are an eye-opener to the hurdles she had to overcome in becoming one of the foremost East Asian archaeology scholars today. Moreover, they illustrate how serendipitous the development of research can be, where barriers and opportunities crop up in unexpected quarters – a good lesson for beginning students. I wish more of us would be as brave as Sarah to write about our career experiences, warts and all; they form important contexts for and constraints on the development of our thinking.
As the SEAA is now moving towards a 3-year conference cycle, we have also been in the process of updating our membership system to align with this change. This has now been implemented on the website for all new or renewing memberships. What this means in practical terms is that when you go to renew your membership, the options are now Regular and Concessionary 3-year fixed term. If you renew or join anytime this year, your membership will now last until December 31st, 2022. If you renew or join anytime in 2021, then your membership will last until December 31st, 2023, and so on.