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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.121
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 156  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0959-7743 - ISSN (Online) 1474-0540
Published by Cambridge University Press Homepage  [387 journals]
  • CAJ volume 29 issue 4 Cover and Front matter
    • PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000593
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • CAJ volume 29 issue 4 Cover and Back matter
    • PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S095977431900060X
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Environmental and Social Change in Northeast Thailand during the Iron Age
    • Authors: C.F.W. Higham; B.F.J. Manly, R. Thosarat, H.R. Buckley, N. Chang, S.E. Halcrow, S. Ward, D.J.W. O'Reilly, L.G. Shewan, K. Domett
      Pages: 549 - 569
      Abstract: The Iron Age of Mainland Southeast Asia began in the fifth century bc and lasted for about a millennium. In coastal regions, the development of trade along the Maritime Silk Road led to the growth of port cities. In the interior, a fall in monsoon rains particularly affected the Mun River valley. This coincided with the construction of moats/reservoirs round Iron Age settlements from which water was channelled into wet rice fields, the production of iron ploughshares and sickles, population growth, burgeoning exchange and increased conflict. We explore the social impact of this agricultural revolution through applying statistical analyses to mortuary samples dating before and after the development of wet rice farming. These suggest that there was a swift formation of social elites represented by the wealth of mortuary offerings, followed by a decline. Two associated changes are identified. The first involved burying the dead in residential houses; the second considers the impact of an increasingly aquatic environment on health by examining demographic trends involving a doubling of infant mortality that concentrated on neonates. A comparison between this sequence and that seen in coastal ports suggests two interconnected instances of rapid pathways to social change responding to different social and environmental stressors.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000192
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Rice Ecology and Ecological Relations: An Ontological Analysis of the
           Jiangjunya Masks and Crop Images from China's East Coast
    • Authors: Feng Qu
      Pages: 571 - 592
      Abstract: Depictions of human faces and rice-crop images found at the Jiangjunya rock-art site in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, China, reveal entangling relationships between spiritual and economic aspects. Drawing on the relational ecology model and animist ontology theory, the author provides an analysis of the Jiangjunya rock art in its economic, social, spiritual and historical contexts, proposing that prehistoric farmers along China's east coast perceived rice plants as relating to persons. Rice was conceptualized not in utilitarian terms as a means of subsistence (used and consumed by humans) but rather as subjects capable of action. The human masks of Jiangjunya hence suggest a personhood for rice, rather than representing humans or anthropomorphic gods. Furthermore, the history of the Jiangjunya rock-art site corresponds with the history of local economics. The relational ontologies might have transformed gradually from human–animal interactions in the Late Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic periods to human–plant interactions in Late Neolithic societies. The author concludes that the art site was possibly treated as a mnemonic maintaining interpersonal and intersubjective relationships across thousands of years.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000210
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Animals as Social Actors: Cases of Equid Resistance in the Ancient Near
    • Authors: Laerke Recht
      Pages: 593 - 606
      Abstract: This paper examines the concept of animals as social actors in the ancient Near East through a case study of human–equid relations. In particular, examples where equids may be seen as expressing resistance, as depicted in the iconography of the third and second millennia bc, are analysed. The first part of the paper discusses how animals have been perceived in scholarly debates in philosophy, archaeology and human–animal studies. It is argued that an acknowledgement of animals as social actors can improve our understanding of the human past, and the relation of humans to their broader environment. The second part of the paper presents three examples from the ancient Near East where equids may be interpreted as pushing back or resisting the boundaries placed by humans, resulting in a renegotiation of the relationship.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000222
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • The Natural Inspiration for Natufian Art: Cases from Wadi Hammeh 27,
    • Authors: Phillip C. Edwards; Janine Major, Kenneth J. McNamara, Rosie Robertson
      Pages: 607 - 624
      Abstract: The likelihood that Palaeolithic artisans sometimes used natural objects as models for their image-making has long been suggested, yet well-contextualized and stratified examples have remained rare. This study examines a series of natural and fabricated items from the Natufian settlement of Wadi Hammeh 27 in Jordan (12,000–12,500 cal. bc) to propose that the site occupants collected a variety of found objects such as fossils, unusually shaped stones and animal bones, which they utilized as templates in the production of geometric art pieces. Natural and fabricated objects were woven into complex schemes of relation by Natufian artisans. Existing patterns were copied and applied to a variety of representational images. Found objects were sometimes subtly modified, whereas at other times they were transformed into finished artefacts. The scute pattern on the tortoise carapace, in particular, appears to have formed the basis of important ritual beliefs across the Natufian culture area. At Wadi Hammeh 27, it was evoked in various media and at various scales to form interrelating tableaux of representation.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000234
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Digital Sensoriality: The Neolithic Figurines from Koutroulou Magoula,
    • Authors: Costas Papadopoulos; Yannis Hamilakis, Nina Kyparissi-Apostolika, Marta Díaz-Guardamino
      Pages: 625 - 652
      Abstract: The image-based discourse on clay figurines that treated them as merely artistic representations, the meaning of which needs to be deciphered through various iconological methods, has been severely critiqued and challenged in the past decade. This discourse, however, has largely shaped the way that figurines are depicted in archaeological iterations and publications, and it is this corpus of images that has in turn shaped further thinking and discussion on figurines, especially since very few people are able to handle the original, three-dimensional, physical objects. Building on the changing intellectual climate in figurine studies, we propose here a framework that treats figurines as multi-sensorial, affective and dynamic objects, acting within distinctive, relational fields of sensoriality. Furthermore, we situate a range of digital, computational methods within this framework in an attempt to deprive them of their latent Cartesianism and mentalism, and we demonstrate how we have applied them to the study of Neolithic figurines from the site of Koutroulou Magoula in Greece. We argue that such methodologies, situated within an experiential framework, not only provide new means of understanding, interpretation and dissemination, but, most importantly, enable researchers and the public to explore the sensorial affordances and affective potential of things, in the past as well as in the present.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000271
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Memories into Images: Aegean and Aegean-like Objects in New Kingdom
           Egyptian Theban Tombs
    • Authors: Uroš Matić
      Pages: 653 - 669
      Abstract: Diplomatic relations between the 18th-dynasty Egyptian court and the polities of the Aegean Bronze Age are gaining increasing scholarly attention. The work conducted so far on chronological synchronization has established a relatively firm base for further discussions on social relations. The role of the prestige objects arriving from the Aegean to Egypt has not received the same attention. This is partly because our knowledge of these objects is restricted to Egyptian visual representations in tombs of the officials and not the imported objects per se. This paper will discuss the transformative capacities of Egyptian decorum in regards to the foreign prestige objects of the Aegean provenance arriving in the Egyptian 18th-dynasty court. We first have to understand the iconographical phenomena of transference, hybridization and creativity in Egyptian visual culture, and only then may we attempt to read any historical reality behind them. These transformative representational processes are crucial for the understanding of the reception and the memory of the Aegean objects.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S095977431900026X
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Tracking Proto-Porcelain Production and Consumption in the Dongjiang
           Valley of Bronze Age Lingnan
    • Authors: Michèle H.S. Demandt
      Pages: 671 - 689
      Abstract: During the Early-Middle Bronze Age, a new package of technological knowledge, including high-fired ‘proto-porcelain’ products and specialized ‘dragon’ kilns, entered Lingnan in South China from neighbouring cultures. This enabled the first local production of proto-porcelain in Bronze Age communities of Guangdong province that later became concentrated in ceramic workshops in the Dongjiang valley. Through a holistic approach towards ceramic production and consumption that integrates elements of functionalist and social perspectives, this study will explore the technological and socio-political conditions underlying the value creation and consequent social usage of proto-porcelain. It will be argued that proto-porcelain was a suitable medium for the simultaneous expression of different social roles that might have included its use as serving ware in community rituals as well as its involvement in politico-economic strategies of elite groups.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000246
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Against+the+Grain:+A+Deep+History+of+the+Earliest+States&rft.title=Cambridge+Archaeological+Journal&rft.issn=0959-7743&">Archaeological Perspectives on Scott's Against the Grain: A Deep History
           of the Earliest States
    • Authors: Thomas P. Leppard
      Pages: 691 - 692
      Abstract: James C. Scott's Against the Grain has immense relevance for how archaeologists view the dynamics of early states and complex polities. In this volume, Scott—already established as a leading theorist of states and statecraft (e.g. Scott 1997; 2009)—brings his analytic power and capacity to turn a phrase to bear on the topic of the ‘earliest states’.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000337
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Scott, Domestication and the End of History
    • Authors: Rod Campbell
      Pages: 692 - 694
      Abstract: In responding to Scott's Against the Grain, my goal is not to write a book review. I take it as unnecessary to point out all the details that Scott, a historical anthropologist of South East Asia, got wrong about ancient history and archaeology. Instead, I want to take seriously Scott's own hope that his book would be read as a provocation and, in doing so, work through some of its larger problems and its potential.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000349
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • An Archaeobotanical Perspective on the Relationship between Grain Crops,
           Non-Grain Crops and States
    • Authors: Jade d'Alpoim Guedes
      Pages: 694 - 696
      Abstract: Asking the public to question the assumption that our current systems of governance and food production represent the apex of an evolutionary trajectory is timely and well warranted.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000350
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Against+the+Grain&rft.title=Cambridge+Archaeological+Journal&rft.issn=0959-7743&'Altroy&rft.aufirst=Terence&'Altroy&rft_id=info:doi/10.1017/S0959774319000362">An Americanist's Take on Against the Grain
    • Authors: Terence N. D'Altroy
      Pages: 697 - 699
      Abstract: In both public and professional accounts of the grand sweep of human history, a few questions recurrently beg for attention. How did technology—broadly understood to encompass everything from control of fire to domestication of food sources, to craft manufacture, to communication and transportation—transform human life' How did social complexity come into being: e.g. classes, formal institutions and the state' Why did some ancient societies invest so much effort in corporate constructions such as pyramids, temples and other monumental architecture' What were the effects of warfare and disease on the human condition' And why did the early societies of so many regions cycle between eras of concentrated power and its apparent dissolution'
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000362
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Pathways from Farmers to States around the Globe
    • Authors: Robert D. Drennan
      Pages: 699 - 702
      Abstract: In Against the Grain, James Scott has produced an admirably broad and sweeping account of state origins. He takes humans’ first use of fire as his starting point and works his way toward states by way of the transition to settled agricultural life in the Neolithic. The intended audience would seem to be primarily the general public, for whom Scott's goals are ‘condensing the best knowledge we have … and then suggesting what it implies’ (p. xii). It is clearly, however, an audience more professionally concerned with state origins that he has in mind when he says ‘…these implications … are meant to be provocations … intended to stimulate further reflection and research’ (p. xiii), and his book provides plenty of fuel for such stimulation.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000374
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Grain&rft.title=Cambridge+Archaeological+Journal&rft.issn=0959-7743&">Against Scott's Grain
    • Authors: Timothy R. Pauketat
      Pages: 702 - 703
      Abstract: Cultivars domesticated and organized people. Cereal grain-growing agriculturists—at least those lucky enough to live in floodplains—exploited others in order to sustain themselves. From such preconditions, states were born, the organizational fragilities of which routinely led to their dissolution, and to other sorts of social forms in peripheral locations. This is James Scott's Against the Grain in a nutshell.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000386
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • The Fragile State
    • Authors: Susan Pollock
      Pages: 704 - 706
      Abstract: In his most recent book, James Scott presents us with a ‘deep history’ of the alluvial lowlands of Mesopotamia, from early domestications in the Neolithic to the emergence and consolidation of early states. Although the focus lies on Mesopotamia in these periods, Scott delves into the beginnings of the human use of fire in the Palaeolithic and draws on comparative developments in Southeast Asia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and elsewhere. He poses large questions: Why did people move into densely packed villages—‘Neolithic multispecies resettlement camps’—accompanied by the plants and animals they domesticated, but also by an exponentially increased disease load and a substantial portion of drudgery' Why did states emerge when they did, despite the fact that the main ecological and demographic conditions were present millennia earlier' What accounts for the fragility of these early states, and why do our standard histories obscure that fact' Guiding themes are ecological and demographic, but also draw explicit attention to the unintended consequences of human actions. Indeed, reflections on the Anthropocene underpin the book's arguments, and, like many others who write on this topic, Scott is motivated by deep-seated concerns about the sorry ecological state of our contemporary world and connections to long-term effects of human activity.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000398
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Still Waiting for the Barbarians
    • Authors: Adam T. Smith
      Pages: 706 - 709
      Abstract: It seems almost preordained that James Scott, a scholar who moves with profound agility between the worlds of anthropology and political science, should eventually work his way onto the intellectual terrain of the barbarian. Barbarians play a foundational role in the formation of both disciplines, populating both anthropology's ‘savage slot’ (Trouillot 2003) and political science's prelapsarian ‘state of nature’ (Palmeri 2016). In Scott's most recent book, Against the Grain, the barbarians who helped to shape the world's earliest states play a variety of consequential roles. They are at once the forces of resistance to centralizing power, the refugees seeking respite from sovereignty's infringements and the brigands of the borderlands who provide the slave labour and mercenaries that prop up the fragile state.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000404
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Going Against Whose Grain' Archaeological Theory and Southeast Asia's
           Premodern States
    • Authors: Miriam T. Stark
      Pages: 709 - 711
      Abstract: Southeast Asia is a paradox to Western scholars. Few are familiar with its history, yet Southeast Asia has been a veritable intellectual resource extraction zone for twentieth- and twenty-first-century social thought: imagined communities, galactic polities, agricultural involution and the moral economy of peasants all emanate from work done in Southeast Asia. The region's archaeological record is equally paradoxical: late Pleistocene ‘Hobbit’ hominins disrupt models of human origins, the world's largest Buddhist monument of Borobudur now sits in a wholly Muslim land mass in central Java, and the world's largest premodern city of Angkor is located in Cambodia, a country that remains resolutely rural. So we should not be surprised that Scott's Against the Grain: A deep history of the earliest states draws from a career in Southeast Asian studies to study human history (the entire Anthropocene). This essay concentrates on how Scott believes early Mesopotamian states became legible.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000416
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Against the Mane: How Barbaric Was the ‘The Golden Age of
    • Authors: Joshua Wright
      Pages: 712 - 714
      Abstract: Against the Grain is both a wide-ranging voyage of discovery and a regionally focused study of the trajectory of agriculture from its earliest appearance until historical times, coupled with discussion of the mechanisms that maintained early states. For Scott, the state is a fragile entity (pp. 21, 23, 118, 125) based on the production of grain, along with water transport, city walls, tax collection, specialized administrators, monumental centres, kings, social hierarchy, filth, epidemic disease and an insatiable demand for enslaved labour. With such a definition, there is a little hope that the societies of Eurasian pastoral nomads can be seen as anything other than ‘barbarians’ living outside the laws and hierarchies of agricultural states. It is these Eurasian nomadic pastoralists and their relations with the state that will form the focus of this commentary.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000428
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • On Inclusions and Exclusions
    • Authors: Stephanie Wynne-Jones
      Pages: 714 - 716
      Abstract: Against the Grain is an approachable book that explores the world of the earliest states, found in Mesopotamia. It is framed by the rationale that a study of the state's deep history might give us insight into contemporary concerns via an understanding of the deep causal links between sedentism, agriculture and state control.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S095977431900043X
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
  • Response
    • Authors: James C. Scott
      Pages: 716 - 721
      Abstract: The fact that 10 notable scholars have taken the time to examine my book Against the Grain and provide thoughtful commentary is a form of flattery of which I am acutely conscious and very grateful. This would be the case even if their comments had ben totally damning! I braced myself for the onslaught of a phalanx of archaeologists justifiably indignant that a rank amateur should even dare trespass on their turf. When invited to reply to such a symposium convened by the CAJ, the thought crossed my mind that I was being brought to the symposium in the same spirit as the Romans ‘invited’ the Christians to the Coliseum. Happily, while there are gashes, bruises and perhaps a life-threatening wound or two, much of my argument seems to have come through the encounter. One or two of the commentators, I understand, believe they left me for dead!
      PubDate: 2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000441
      Issue No: Vol. 29, No. 4 (2019)
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