Ceramic stories book cover

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.

The said wooden spinning top

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 ad

Volunteers needed for interview on creation of digital Liangzhu culture platform

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.

Sarah Nelson Photo

Obituary for Sarah Nelson, Past President of SEAA

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.

Announcement: Shifting of SEAA Membership to 3-year, fixed term cycle

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.

Obituary for James Stoltman of the University of Wisconsin, Madison

It is with sadness that I have to convey the news of James Stoltman's passing, on September 11, 2019, in Madison, Wisconsin, at age 84. Unbeknown to most, he had cancer, but did not show any signs of the illness until very late, and this summer was still working on ceramic petrography for a Chinese project. Jim Stoltman has been a pioneer in ceramic petrography in the US, on the tracks of Anna Shepard, studying and confirming her work. He was instrumental in presenting a methodology of point counting technique as applied to ceramic analysis (e.g.1989), thus promoting quantitative analysis in petrography. He has been a prolific writer, specialized in North American archaeology, publishing many petrographic studies on Mississippian and Hopewell ceramics, as well as being involved in Belgium, and in Chinese projects for several years, notably at Anyang. Jim was Emeritus Professor at the Department of Anthropology at UW-Madison where he taught for many years. He was an avid tennis player, traveler, very positive person and great colleague.

We will miss him a lot.

Isabelle Druc

 

Introducing the New SEAA Website

Dear Members of the Society for East Asian Archaeology,

On behalf of the entire executive board, I would like to welcome you to the new home of the SEAA online. After many years of excellent service, we decided it was time for an update and change to a new website where members can easily find and discuss the latest news, discoveries, publications, and jobs related to the archaeology of East Asia. Along with the change in format, I’ll be serving as the new Web Editor. My name is Andrew Womack and I’m currently a postdoctoral scholar in Chinese Archaeology at Stanford University. I’ll be managing the transition to the new site as well as the new SEAA blog. The new website contains a number of improvements and new features, including:

SEAA Membership

Join or Renew

Membership can be considered for any individual, professional or non-professional, doing research related to the archaeology of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) or otherwise interested in the field. Please click the button above to sign up or renew now.