label r shifted
Session B6
Archaeological Investigation of People Interacting with the World in the Early Neolithic Taiwan
李匡悌 Kuang-Ti Li
Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

What contact did they have? This paper is intended explore the issue of interaction of early Neolithic inhabitants in prehistoric Taiwan 5000 years ago. Based on the geological study, Taiwan was not separated from mainland China until the end of last glacial. Moreover, no archaeological evidence indicates that Neolithic cultures in Taiwan were developed from the earliest Paleolithic inhabitants of the island. Up to now, most archaeological evidence presents those Neolithic peoples in prehistoric Taiwan arrived initially from outside of the island. Additionally, there is no absolute date showing when these very first people settled in Taiwan as well as for how and why some of them made journey to migrate out. Over than two decades, Bellwood has made the argument of a large-scale, but punctuated, migration of Austronesian-speaking peoples from the homeland in Taiwan around 5000 years ago, south and eastward through Island Southeast Asia, then to Island Melanesia. This paper is not in attempt to reply to this argument with a contrary claim. Instead, the points of a discussion would focus on the how significant and where of the newly discovered archaeological evidence from Tainan Science Park shed light on the interaction sphere of these inhabitants carried out during the time period they settled. The archaeological remains recently unearthed from the sites of Nankuanli and Nankuanli East within the Tainan Science Park could provide solid evidence for the early inhabitant contacted with the people nearby the regions while they tried to explore their subsistence resources. The study will focus on the remains present from the sites to investigate whether subsistence needs is meet within this local environmental system. Second, the study would also pay attention to the technology of these inhabitants to investigate how similarity and difference within the regional catchment area. The study will generate an understanding of broad cultural patterns as well as illuminate aspects of their inter- and intra-relationship in this region and outside of the island.