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HomeAbout IA CASSAcademic departments
The center for scientific Archaeology
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2015-04-28

Director: Zhao Zhijun

Deputy Director: Liu Jianguo, Wang Minghui

Members: Wang Zenling , Zhao Chunyan, Zhong Jian, Zhang Yabin, Liu Fang , Zhang Jun, Qi Wu-Yun-Ge-Ri-Le, Liu Yu, Wang Shuzhi,  Zhang Lei, Wang Ping,Yuan Jing,
Zhang Xuelian, Lv Peng, Wang Hui, Li Zhipeng, Ye Xiaohong.

Established in 1995, the CSA now comprises 20 stuffs in conducting interdisciplinary research and technical support works for the Institute of Archaeology, CASS.The research covers a variety of fields, including chronology,environmental archaeology, physical anthropology, zooarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, chemical and physical analysis, geophysical prospecting, GIS, and preservation of cultural relics. The technical support works include drawing & mapping,photographing and artifact repairing. The CSA is the China's leading unit for scientific archaeology due to its advanced equipment, strong ability in research, and professional skills in technical works.

A  Interdisciplinary research

1. Chronology

As the first in China, the radiocarbon lab of the CSA was established in the early of 1960s. Since then, the lab has gained a great of achievements in its field, and published two books entitled Research on radiocarbon dates in China and Collection of radiocarbon dates in Chinese archaeology (1965-1991). Recently, the lab has been responsible for radiocarbon dating for the "Project of chronology of Xia, Shang, and Zhou", which is a national major project and was awarded as one of the top 10 scientific achievements in China in 1999. The CSA is now working on an international cooperation with the Institution of Archaeology of Germany for establishing a dendrochronology lab.

2.Environmental archaeology

This is a relatively new research field in the CSA, focusing on the interrelationship between man and environment throughout studies of environmental history and archaeological cultures. A book with title of Shell midden sites in the Jiaodong peninsula: Studies in environmental archaeology was published recently. Current research involves several programs such as "Environmental reconstruction for the Han-Wei settlements in Qixinghe area, Helongjiang" and "Interdisciplinary research for the Nan-Yue palace site of Western Han and a shipyard site of Qin Dynasty at Guangzhou City".

3.Physical anthropology

Research focuses on physical anthropology as well as related topics by examining, measuring, and statistically analyzing human fossils. Current research programs include "Analysis of human bones from the Xinglongwa site, Inner Mongolia", "Analysis of human bones from the Qiemou site, Xinjiang", and "Analysis of human bones from the Sanxingcun site, Jiangsu".

4.Zooarchaeology

Using faunal remains to study the relationship between animal communities and human groups. Current research programs include "Identification and analysis of animal bones from the Yinxu, Henan", "Study of faunal remains from the Xinglongwa site, Inner Mongolia", and "Study of faunal remains from the Yuchisi site, Anhui".

5.Paleoethnobotany

This also is a relatively new research field in the CSA, which uses plant remains, both macroremains and microremains, to investigate research problems, such as plant utilization, plant domestication, changes of subsistence pattern, origin of agriculture, etc. Current research programs include "Phytolith analysis for the Beiyangping site, Henan", "Study of charred plant remains from the Liangchengzheng site, Shandong", and "Pollen analysis for the Neolithic sites located in the Shu River valley, Shandong".

6.Chemical and physical analyses

Research emphasizes a variety of human activities by analyzing artifacts' chemical composition and physical microstructure. Three labs, chemistry lab, element analysis lab and metallography lab carry out the works. Current research programs include "Chemical composition of Shang-Zhou bronzes", "Element analysis of ceramics from the Xinglongwa site, Inner Mongolia", and "Isotope analysis of human and animal bones".

7.Remote sensing and geophysical prospecting

Using high techniques such as aerial photography, satellite photos, and ground penetration radar, to do archaeological survey and to prospect archaeological sites with high resolving power, in order to provide reliable information for archaeological excavations. Current research programs include "A comprehensive study on archaeological resources using high resolving power geophysics and remote sensing" (a cooperation with Greece), and "Remote sensing and geophysical prospecting a Shang city at Huanbei, Anyang".

8.GIS

Focussing on application of GIS in archaeology, such as mapping, management of database, spatial analysis, etc. Current research programs include "Application of GIS in the study of settlement pattern in the Shu River valley, Shandong" and "Application of GIS in archaeological survey in the Huan River valley, Henan" (a cooperation with the US).

9.Preservation of cultural relics

How to effectively preserve artifacts, such as bronzes, wooden materials, and so on, is the focus of this research field. Current research programs include "Experiment on removing rust from the bronzes recovered from the Yinxu, Henan", "Preservation of wooden artifacts recovered from the Xiehetala Tomb, Inner Mongolia".

B.Technical support works

1.drawing & mapping

Responsible for checking and improving illustrations in the journals of Kaogu, Kaogu Xuebao, and Papers on Chinese Archaeology. Also responsible for drawing and mapping for archaeological reports and books published by the Institute of Archaeology.

2. Photography

Responsible for pictures and plates in the journals of Kaogu, Kaogu Xuebao, and Papers on Chinese Archaeology. Also responsible for taking photos for archaeological reports and books published by the Institute of Archaeology.

3.Artifact repairing

Responsible for repairing cultural remains recovered from excavations. Besides repairing, experiments have been also carried out on reconstruction, such projects as "Reconstruction of the Shang city at Yanshi, Henan", "Ceramic techniques of the Dingshishan site, Guangxi", and "Reconstruction of horse gear found in the Qianzhangda site, Shandong".
 

April 26,2015 updated

 

 
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