09 April, 2013

Report of Society for American Archaeology 78th Annual Meeting

From April 4 (Thu)-6 (Sat), I joined in SAA 78th Annual Meeting Honolulu, Hawaii in order to present my research results. My attending sessions were as the following.

4th (Thu)
66) New Developments in Chinese Archaeology 

New researches in Chinese archaeology were reported in this session. In China, many archaeologists often conduct starch residue analyses of stone artefacts as one of research methods to interpret archaeological sites.

In Japan, some archaeological surveys adopt starch residue analyses in very recent years, and this study has been known as one of research methods in Japanese archaeology. Like other areas where starch residue analysis is conducted aggressively, the basements to progress comparative studies seem to be build up in East Asia at last.

5th (Fri)
138) Isotope Ecology and the Ring of Fire: Bioarchaeology in the Pacific 

In this session, very new results of stable isotope analyses and other isotope analyses were reported. How to present these research data and how to interpret them are very helpful for my works.

There were many presentations to discuss about the relationships between natural environments and human subsistence activities. Many archaeological researches deal with the research topics "how did environmental changes affect human activities?". How we should explore the relationships between the nature and human activities using scientific analyses? And "How did human societies select natural resources for making tools and producing food, and they thus create their susbsistence activities, strategies, and systems within nature?". This session provided a little bit of key points for my above research interests. 
179) Questions of Chronology in Ancient China

I heard just only one report about millet farming in northern China, and it showed various data in terms of the origin of farming foxtail millets and broomcorn millet. But this kind of research results are often presented at other conferences as well, and so I didn't get any new specific results in this presentation. 

194) Bioarchaeology of Northeast Asia

This session provided various new research information in terms of which kind of diets hunter-gatherers selected and managed using mitochondrial DNA data and analysing human skeletons.

6th (Sat)
222) Before Bringia: Archaeological Evidence and Late Pleistocene Population Dynamic in Central and Northeast Asia 

I heard just only some reports about the dispersal of Neanderthals and problems of Denisova hominin. This theme reminded me about the Symposium on the Emergence and Diversity of Modern Human Behavior in Palaeolithic Asia (Modern Human Behavior Symposium) and the 4th Annual Meeting of the Asian Palaeolithic Association (APA meeting) held in November, 2011.

228) Animal Sacrifice in Complex Societies: Method and Theory in Interpreting Zooarchaeological Assemblages 

One of my colleagues organised this session and so I attended at it. New research results of zooarchaeological researches regarding the topics of sacrifice and ceremony were presented in this session.

The following topics were not mentioned. Various research data can be useful for me in terms of exploring the relationships between people and animals as well as Broad spectrum revolution in food resources.

250) Common Grounds: Innovative International Perspectives on Ground Stone Studies

I conducted my presentation "Needs and Passions of Plant Food Consumption: Starch Reveals Functions of Ground Stone Tools and Potteries in Prehistoric Japan" in this session. I reported my case study of the Shimo-yakabe site in Tokyo which was finished last year. Using starch residue analyses of stone tools and pottery vessels, my presentation showed which kind of plant resources were selected and used for food systematically by the inhabitants at the Shimo-yakebe site. 

The biggest results of our session was that various researchers studying in ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, archaeology, and archaeobotany, and so on, presented our research results, and that we were able to exchange information each other. This kind of session was very interestng for me because one material can be discussed by international perspectives.

I met Dr. Richard Fullagar, who taught me about methods of starch residue analysis directly in 2005 when I just started this work, and he was interested in my recent results.

Starch residue analyses in Japanese archaeology and my research projects are based on Dr. Fullagar's methodologies. He was pleased to hear this research field has progressed in Japan, and so I was so very happy.

258) Circumpolar Ceramics: Pottery Technology and the "Foraging Spectrum"

This session was conducted at the same time as the above 250, and so I was able to hear the last presentation only. But I met Dr. Peter Jordan who suggests me about analysing pottery residues, Dr. Carl Heron, and Dr. Oliver Craig. In the future, I can contact with them to exchange our research information, and we will progress our international cooperative research project about pottery residues further more.

In this SAA, I got lots of good results. So I specially thank to Dr. John Arthur for providing me this opportunity to present my research.

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