Geoarchaeology has played an important role in some important archaeological issues, such as the origin of agriculture, climate change and cultural adaptation, land use enhancement and social complication, and the study of the Anthropocene. On the afternoon of December 15th, Mr. Zhuang Yijie from University College London gave a lecture on geoscience and archaeology in our school. With the title of "Monsoon, Crops and Country: A Preliminary Comparison of Early Rice Civilization", by describing his study cases in Liangzhu, Angkor Wat, Cambodia and other places, he gave a wonderful academic report to our teachers and students.
Teacher Zhuang Yijie is currently working at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK. His research directions are mainly geological archaeology, early agricultural ecology, long-scale land use and landscape changes, ancient agricultural irrigation and water management, and different trajectories of social complexity. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Arts and Sciences in 2005, graduated from Peking University School of Archaeology, Arts and Sciences in 2008, received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 2012, and conducted post-doctoral research at Oxford University's Morton College in 2012-2013. He is currently an editorial board member of World Archaeology and Geoarchaeology. He has published more than 30 papers in internationally renowned journals such as PNAS, Catena, Holocene, and edited 2 academic books.
Teacher Zhuang Yijie launched this lecture from the perspective of rice and monsoon circulation, focusing on the complexity of the relationship between land use and water resources management, the movement of monsoon boundaries and the uneven distribution of water resources in time and space, and the complexity of the relationship between climate change and cultural adaptation, and he took the changes in rice planting area in early and late stages and the reasons and functions of dam system construction as examples to explain.
In the second part, he analyzed the theme of Angkor civilization and rice landscape, explaining the process of the formation of the local monsoon climate and rice planting landscape in Angkor in a simple and profound way, and focused on the "ancient urbanization process": taking temples as core residential sites, construction and water management measures, including religious temple site selection and layout, general civilian residential sites, general settlement distribution in the area, ponds and canals construction, etc.
The third part started from the themes of Madagascar's rice landscape and early state formation, including the time, scope and reason of rice popularization and the relationship between the origin of early civilization and state formation, and analyzed this issue from multiple perspectives such as history and ecology.
Finally, Mr. Zhuang Yijie compared the three typical sites from three aspects: different social organizational structures and powers, different social development trajectories, different national forms and neighboring relations.
After the report, Ms. Zhuang also gave serious answers to the questions raised by the teachers and classmates. The whole lecture ended with warm applause from the audience. The lecture was hosted by Associate Professor Jia Xin of our school.