Event: Pizza Talk: "The metalworkers of prehistoric Thailand: A bioarchaeological approach"

Date & Time

May 16, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Contact Information

Matthew Swanson
Phone 310-825-4169


Fowler A222

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Speaker: Dr. Chin-hsin Liu, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cal State University, Northridge

A specialized craft industry in prehistory is often studied from perspectives such as social organization, labor and product distribution, and exchange network. While these angles indeed provide significant insight to the past, the biological impact of craft production on community members is a critical component offering a nuanced view on people’s lifeways. Pre-industrial metalworking is a biologically and environmentally demanding process that frequently involved arduous labor, landscape alteration, and waste management. In this talk, I use a cluster of metalworking sites in prehistoric central Thailand to illustrate how each stage of the metallurgical process can manifest into skeletally detectable markers (morphological and chemical), and how these markers can lead us to understand people’s actions as they faced the consequences of a long and intensive metallurgical tradition.