Exploring the geometric horizon : interregional interaction and local evolution

Janet Lucas
This study presents a detailed investigation of the late prehistoric Geometric Pottery Horizon in the Provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi in southeastern China. The currently available published works in both English and Chinese are brought together in this study to provide the basic sources of data for the study of the development of complex societies in this region between approximately 3,000 and 200 B.C.. A major debate concerning the "Geometric Pottery Cultures" is the degree of impact the
more » ... rthern Chinese states had on the development of social complexity among such 'peripheral' groups as these. I discuss the general utility of frameworks which restrict the study of social developmental processes to internal factors alone, versus those which allow for the simultaneous consideration of both internal and external factors and conclude that the latter are more appropriate. Several tasks are undertaken in this study: first is the compilation and evaluation of the presently available evidence regarding the Geometric groups of Lingnan (Chapters 2-4); secondly the construction of a basic conceptual framework for analysing the empirical patterns of development in Lingnan Geometric society (Chapter 5), and finally a brief exploration of the part played by the northern states in the intensification of hierarchical organization of the Lingnan Geometric groups. Mortuary data from Geometric sites are used as the basis for studying the development of sociopolitical complexity (Chapter 5). Degree of ranking in each Period of the Geometric is assessed by the relative amounts of grave goods, amount of energy expenditure on the grave, and the presence/absence of special elite "badges" among contemporaneous burials. Evidence for political aspects of ranking and the concurrent development of hierarchical organization in manufacturing and exchange systems are also examined. I conclude from Chapter 5 that Lingnan Geometric society developed from egalitarian to strongly ranked during the second half of the Geometric time period. [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0058393 fatcat:nomegomkb5clbfyi7swwba5ndm