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Jinan in the first millennium B.C. : archaeology and structural history Li, Min


This thesis is an archaeological study of social changes in the Jinan Region, eastern China, during the first millennium B.C., using settlement pattern and burial analysis. Taking a multiscalar approach of structural history, I examined local manifestations of political and economic centralization in relation to long-term structural changes in technology, landscape, and mentality. Settlement pattern analysis revealed trends of increasing territorial control, expanding use of metal in local sites, increasing specialization in craft production, and rising state intervention in exchange and production. Analysis of ritual assemblages in burials suggested changes in the nature of political authority, in social relations, and in attitudes towards political and economic changes among various sectors of local population. Against the deeply entrenched structure of kinship solidarity, the rise and decline of militarism, social mobility, and an increasing perception that the state-defined economic order continued into the afterlife were expressed in burial rituals as Jinan society was gradually incorporated into imperial China. Through a comparative study of general trends from the two types of analysis, the research provided archaeological evidence for a transition from a lineage-based political structure to a centralized political structure characteristic of imperial China. Structural conditions, including landscape, technology, and mentality preconditioned the local mediations of historical forces emanating from the larger society and were transformed by changes in the socioeconomic arena. I concluded that an appreciation of the historically specific conjunction of forces operating at different temporal scales in the local society is critical in understanding the way that the final entry of Jinan into the imperial China was realized and imperial life and values were consolidated in the local historical landscape. It is through the local mediations of people in their changing socioeconomic circumstances deriving from the sociopolitical development of the medium temporal scale that long-term, structural changes in technology, economy, and mentality, such as the introduction of iron technology, the threshold of monetary economy, and the formation of an imperial ideology, were brought to the local life in their historically specific manifestations.

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