You are here

"Small Things Forgotten:" From Acorn Foraging to Rice Agriculture in Ancient China

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 28, 2019. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center, Building 500
Workshop: 
Archaeology: Connectivity and Temporality, An Archaeological View
Meeting Description: 

The past can be seen most fully by studying what James Deetz calls “the small things forgotten.” Acorns, the nut of the oak tree, have been an important food source for many cultural groups across the Americas, Asia, and Europe for several thousand years. Despite this wide geographic range and long culinary history, many aspects of that food history still remain unknown. This talk introduces a history of acorn use in prehistoric China and its relation to the transition to rice agriculture. I argue that the acorn played an outsized role in this transition by attracting early Holocene foragers to settle down in more permanent settlements, to increase their material production, and to begin experimenting with plant cultivation, eventually leading to agriculture.

Jiajing Wang is a PhD candidate in the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department, Chinese archaeology track. She is a prehistoric archaeologist whose research interests include the origins of agriculture, the rise of sociopolitical inequalities, and ancient alcohol production. She studies these topics through residue, use-wear, and lithic analyses. Her dissertation project examines the transition from hunter-gatherer to rice agricultural societies during the early Holocene period in the Lower Yangtze Valley of China. Jiajing has published articles in both English and Chinese journals, such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Quaternary International, and Journal of Archaeological Science Reports.

Workshops Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31