Asian Perspectives, vol. 51, no. 1 (2012)


Na Koronivalu ni Bā: Upland Settlement during the Last Millennium in the Bā River Valley and Vatia Peninsula, Northern Viti Levu Island, Fiji
Patrick D. Nunn, 1

Former settlements, now abandoned, are found in inland upland locations on many larger islands in the tropical Pacific. In Fiji, such settlements are known today as koronivalu (war-towns) and, as elsewhere in the region, appear to have been established within the same period during the first half of the last millennium. Twenty-seven koronivalu were mapped for this research in the Bā Valley and nearby Vatia Peninsula, northern Viti Levu Island (Fiji); of these, nine were subject to detailed investigation. All koronivalu are in defensible locations, either with exceptional views across the surrounding landscape or hidden within deep narrow valleys. At all koronivalu, evidence for the consumption of marine shellfish was found, even though the sites are often far from the coast. Twenty- four radiocarbon ages from charcoal and shellfish remains were obtained. A single age around A.D. 700 from the farthest inland site (Koroikewa) appears anomalous. The remainder, once adjusted, suggest that most koronivalu in the study area were established A.D. 1200–1750, perhaps separable into early (A.D. 1200–1450) and later (A.D. 1500–1750) phases. While questions remain about the functions of these koronivalu, the fact that, as elsewhere in Fiji and in other western Pacific Island groups, they appear to have been established within the same period suggests that there is a region-wide explanation for the profound settlement-pattern change this implies. Climate change, perhaps expressed through drought and/or sea-level change, appears the only plausible external forcing mechanism.
Keywords: Pacific Islands, Fiji, hill forts, settlement pattern, marine subsistence, climate change.

Behavioural Complexity and Modern Traits in the Philippine Upper Palaeolithic
Alfred F. Pawlik, 22

Behavioral modernity has been a widely neglected topic for Southeast Asia’s prehistory. Evidence of modern packages or even traits is basically absent in the Palaeolithic assemblages. This absence has considerably influenced the discussion of hominid behavior and their cultural and cognitive abilities. In a case study on terminal Pleistocene artifacts from Ille Cave on Palawan Island, indications of the presence of several items of the modern trait list, foremost the first evidence of hafted lithic tools and the use of adhesives in the Philippine Palaeolithic, were detected through microwear analysis. The results showed that unretouched and morphologically less characteristic flaked artifacts often considered as mere expedient tools could have served as hafted armatures of multicomponent tools. For the ongoing discussion on the development and expansion of modern behavior, methods like microwear analysis can eliminate some limitations of traditional technological and morphological analysis of lithic assemblages.
Keywords: Lithic technology, microwear analysis, composite tools, behavioral modernity, Palaeolithic, Philippines.

Materializing Identity—A Statistical Analysis of the Western Zhou Liulihe Cemetery
Yitzchak Jaffe, 47

Questions of identity are of paramount importance in research of the Western Zhou period, both in the central plain and among its vassal states. Yet most research done to date has focused on the Zhou bureaucratic order and government. These analyses have been very successful in delineating political culture, administration, and kinship ties, and have provided important information on elite taste and customs. However, they have paid less attention to uncovering other social groupings and relations, and do not systematically address the ways in which local identities were exercised or displayed. This article presents a multivariate statistical analysis of the Liulihe cemetery of the Western Zhou state of Yan. This analysis uncovers new elements comprising the complex social makeup and identity of the Liulihe occupants. These findings provide a richer understanding of the Yan society compared with the traditional approach that centered on the delineation of Zhou political elements and ethnic characteristics. A more intricate society emerges, one not solely defined by the amount of Zhou style it exhibited.
Keywords: Western Zhou, ethnicity, identity, multivariate analysis, mortuary practices.

Chulmun Neolithic Intensification, Complexity, and Emerging Agriculture in Korea
Sook-Chung Shin, Song-Nai Rhee, and C. Melvin Aikens, 68

Emergence of complex society in prehistoric Korea has long been understood as a socioeconomic corollary of its Bronze Age agriculture (1300–300 B.C.). Archaeological data accumulated in recent years, however, point to the contrary. By around 3500 B.C. Korea’s Neolithic society had gone beyond foraging and collecting and become a society of the middle ground. It became increasingly sedentary and began food production, initially at a low level, as it sought to secure critical resources through logistic strategies. It also increasingly utilized storage as a mechanism of risk and wealth management. Gradually intensifying subsistence strategies that combined hunting, fishing, gathering, mobile horticulture, and storage mechanism, enabled Korea’s Chulmun Neolithic society to maintain its sociopolitical and economic stability over a period of several millennia. The intensification increased during the Late Neolithic with emerging mixed crop farming and mass-capture of marine resources. Post-Neolithic florescence of rice-based agriculture and the revolutionary societal elaboration during and beyond the Bronze Age were direct outcomes of socioeconomic foundations laid by the indigenous Korean hunter-fisher-gatherer-cultivators during the Chulmun Neolithic.
Keywords: Korea, Chulmun Neolithic, subsistence intensification, managerial leadership, logistic strategies, food production, storage depots, social inequality.

The Archaeology of World War II Japanese Stragglers on the Island of Guam and the Bushido Code
Boyd Dixon, Laura Gilda, and Lon Bulgrin, 110

The U.S. invasion of the Micronesian island of Guam in July of 1944 ended the three-year Japanese occupation of this American possession, and by August 10 all formal resistance was over. However, two companies of approximately 60 Japanese infantry still under military command were ordered by their officers to conduct guerilla warfare against American forces, while smaller groups of stragglers escaped into the rugged interior of the island to avoid combat. Recent archaeological surveys of the U.S. Naval Ordnance Annex revealed evidence of occupation of limestone rockshelters and caverns by one of these companies, who often utilized or modified items of American manufacture recovered from U.S. military dumps for their daily survival. The company’s military commander eventually surrendered upon orders of the Emperor of Japan on September 4, 1945, but other stragglers on Guam survived for decades after World War II, the last being captured in 1972. The disciplined survival of organized World War II Japanese soldiers across the Pacific reflected the spirit of Bushido or Way of the Warrior, a feudal code of conduct embracing not only military behavior during battle, but the conduct of soldiers in all aspects of life.
Keywords: Guam, Oceania, World War II, Japanese, Bushido, warfare.


Comment on “South Asia—Perennial Backwater or Object of Biased Assessment: A Discussion Based on Current Archaeological, Anthropological, and Genetic Evidence”
Comment by Peter Bellwood, 128


The Headless State: Aristocratic Orders, Kinship Society, and Misrepresentations of Nomadic Inner Asia
Reviewed by Nikolay N. Kradin, 130

Korean Cuisine: An Illustrated History
Reviewed by Ellen F. Steinberg, 132

Prehistoric Societies on the Northern Frontiers of China: Archaeological Perspectives on Identity Formation and Economic Change during the First Millennium BCE
Reviewed by Rowan Flad, 134