Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Staple Economies and Social Integration in Northeast China: Regional Organization in Zhangwu, Liaoning, China

Williams, James T. (2014) Staple Economies and Social Integration in Northeast China: Regional Organization in Zhangwu, Liaoning, China. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (5MB) | Preview


The emergence of specialized mobile herding is long been thought to have taken place in Northeast China during the Late Bronze Age (1200 to 600 BCE). It is theorized that the interaction between specialized herders and sedentary farmers was the catalyst for increased social complexity in the region. However, in Northeast China there is little direct settlement and subsistence evidence which appears to indicate the emergence of mobile pastoralism. Therefore, theories based on the interaction between herders and farmers remain tenuous. This research is designed to answer two questions.
Did reliance on grazing animals and residential mobility increase in some Late Bronze Age communities located in areas where such subsistence strategies would have been attractive alternatives to grain cultivation under warming and drying conditions?
Does such a subsistence shift, if documented, show the artifactual evidence and settlement patterning consistent with economic complementarity?
This dissertation outlines the changes in settlement patterns of 173 square kilometer region from 4500 BCE to 1200 CE. The Early and Late Bronze Age (2000 to 1200 BCE and 1200 to 600 BCE) is given special attention because this is when this substantial economic change is thought to have taken place. During the Bronze Age locational evidence and use-wear evidence is taken in concert to evaluate the notion of Late Bronze Age specialized mobile herders either dominating the landscape or part of a settlement system which includes sedentary farmers.
Results from this study call into question the emergence of specialized herders during the Late Bronze Age. Despite environmental conditions that would be conducive to herding economies and a warmer and dryer climate from the Early to Late Bronze Age, this dissertation finds evidence that local communities favored a mixed economy throughout the Bronze Age. The local environmental conditions tempered the degree to which communities carried out certain economic practices. However, economic specialization, which was previously thought to have characterized the region, does not appear to be at all consistent with the evidence.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Williams, James T.jtw28@pitt.eduJTW28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDrennan, Robert D.drennan@pitt.eduDRENNAN
Committee MemberHanks , Bryan K.bkh5@pitt.eduBKH5
Committee MemberLinduff, Kathryn M.linduff@pitt.eduLINDUFF
Committee MemberBarton , Loukasloukas@pitt.eduLOUKAS
Committee MemberBermann, Marcbermarc@pitt.eduBERMARC
Date: 7 April 2014
Date Type: Submission
Defense Date: 27 January 2014
Approval Date: 30 May 2014
Submission Date: 14 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 223
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: pastoralism Bronze Age archaeology economy China
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 15:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:18


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item