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Mortuary ritual and social identities during the late Dawenkou period in China

  • Yu Dong (a1) (a2), Liugen Lin (a3), Xiaoting Zhu (a3), Fengshi Luan (a1) and Anne P. Underhill (a4)...
Abstract

Scholars have long assumed that during the late Dawenkou period (c. 3000–2500 BC) of Neolithic China, men attained positions of authority over women. This assumption is evaluated through an archaeological and biogeochemical investigation of the materialisation of social identity at the Liangwangcheng site in Jiangsu province. Here, older adult females are found to have been afforded special mortuary treatment, and some females consumed ‘preferred’ foods. The results emphasise the importance of multidisciplinary analysis in the study of the material expressions of social identities in order to move beyond simplistic assumptions based on the quantity and quality of grave goods.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: yudong@sdu.edu.cn)
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Antiquity
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