Accessibility navigation

Taiwanese shouldered axes: its function, usage and chronology

Chiang, L.-C. (2020) Taiwanese shouldered axes: its function, usage and chronology. PhD thesis, University of Reading

Text (Redacted) - Thesis
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

[img] Text - Thesis Deposit Form
· Restricted to Repository staff only


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00108773


The origin of the Yuanshan Culture in Northern Taiwan has long been subjecting attracted major attention by archaeologist due to the particularity of its material culture. That particularity is not shown in the artefacts of other prehistoric cultures in Taiwan, instead, it can be found the similarity from the prehistoric culture(s) in neighbouring areas, such as southeast coast of China. For example, the shouldered axes, one of the artefacts with Yuanshan cultural characteristics. Various opinions of shouldered axe distributions across this area have been given by scholars, but no agreement so far has been drawn the issues of their source, function/usage and cultural significance. Various scientific approaches have been applied to analyse 127 shouldered axes from twenty-two Yuanshan cultural sites and eight from unknown sites for learning the production techniques and usage/function of the shouldered axes. At the same time, 61 radiocarbon dating data of three material types collected from nine Yuanshan cultural sites have been reviewed to obtain the lower and upper chronological boundaries of the Yuanshan Culture. Analytical results are used to interpret the production technology and usage/function of shouldered axes, as well as the chronology and origin of the Yuanshan Culture. The chronological analysis based on Bayesian modelling suggests that the date of the Yuanshan Culture is about c. 3600-2300 BP. There are two types of rock were ii used as raw materials by the Yuanshan people by using pXRF experiments on shouldered axes. One is in the largest number of andesite of the total, the other is the sandstone which represents in three samples. However, the quarry of andesite raw material used by the Yuanshan peopled still cannot be confirmed that it was procured from the Tatun Volcano Group. The angles and forms of shoulders on the shouldered axes have no specific group as techno-typological production standard based on analytical results yielded by the PCA and typological analysis. Some of the types of the shouldered axes are similar to that discovered from the Pearl River Delta and the Indochina Peninsula where the appearance of the shouldered axes is about 6000-2000BP. The use-wear on the shoulder of the shouldered axe is the production marks which were evaluated by both use-wear analysis and replica experiments. Shouldered axes were most likely used as a hafted hoe with a handle in the agronomic activities.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hosfield, R. and Wicks, K.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Archaeology
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:108773


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation