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Megasite Survey: Questions, Methods, and Practices in Guicheng Archaeology

Feng Li, Columbia University

April 6, 2022 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 202 Jones Hall

East Asian Studies Program

Megasites pose special challenges to the archaeologists conducting field survey. The Guicheng city-site, measuring 8 sq. kilometers, was a prominent Bronze-Age metropolis situated in eastern Shandong Peninsula in the 10th -5th centuries BC. It also held a key position in a “frontier zone” at which a great deal of cultural exchange had taken place between a pro-Zhou population and the indigenous groups of the Shandong Peninsula known as the “Dongyi”. In five years from 2007 to 2012, our international collaborative team conducted thorough surveys of the Guicheng megasite extending to its surrounding settlement system on the Longkou plain. We adopted methods that suited the special site environment of Guicheng for the purpose of extracting the maxim amount of information along guidelines for regional surveys developed in the West, complemented by site-focused probing strategies used in China. The project yielded important information for understanding not only the intrasite political-economic organization of Guicheng itself, but also the complex cultural relationships on the eastern periphery of the Zhou world during the late Bronze Age.

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