15 June, 2014

SEAA6: report 2

June 9 (Mon)
  • 13 Patterns of Craft Production Since Neolithic Times and China Part 1
  • 16 Patterns of Craft Production Since Neolithic Times and China Part 2
No.13 contained plow-shaped tools related to rice cultivation, salt production, horse production system, farming tools, bone spades, and systems of craft productions. The topics of No. 16 included bead-strings, braids, ring ornaments in northern Vietnam, turquoise ornaments, roof tiles, roofing tiles, and glazed wares.

As an archaeobotanist, I enjoyed these reports, in particular with plow-shaped tools and farming tools as well as horse production system in China. Like me, archaeobotanists from European countries were interested in them because they asked many questions to speakers. But when I heard these discussions, they didn't understand that we, foreign archaeologists always face with some research limitations in China.

These 2 sessions were interesting, but I was not happy with some situations. In the discussion time, some researchers spoke Chinese to answer questions because they could not reply their questions in English properly. But I was not able to understand these Chinese discussions.

Like me, some of attendees could not speak and understand Chinese. But no one translated these discussions adequately. I think it was necessary for all attendees to translate just main parts of Chinese discussions into English ones.

June 10 (Tue)
  • 19 Mobility, Subsistence, and Interaction on the Eurasian Steppes
The topics contained occupation and seasonal mobility,  bronze artefacts, pottery, starchy crops, cultural exchange, horseback riding, Neolithic sites in the Baikal Region and Eastern Mongolia, and animal bone analysis.

I was very interested in reports about seasonal mobility and starchy crops because they provided some ideas to me in terms of promoting my starch works.
  • 22 Subsistence and Domestication from South to North
Dr. Leo Aoi Hosoya and I presented our initial research results in our project. The session was the final session in SEAA6, and many researchers including Japanese researchers had gone to their homes already. I understood they had their own reasons, but they, especially Japanese researchers had to hear these reports and to discuss with speakers for progressing our Japanese archaeological studies.

The reason was that speakers including me showed recent scientific results about domestication and ancient diet in Asia. Of course, some reports focused on very specific topics. But excluding our presentations, these reports showed basic and new viewpoints for interpreting human subsistence and plant domestication.

Anyway I really enjoyed this session, but in the next conference (in Harvard, USA), I hope organisers will think more about a timetable properly.

Photos taken in SEAA6 will be uploaded later.

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