Barbara Lois Voss
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationStanford U.
Grant numberGr. 9565
Approve DateOctober 11, 2017
Project TitleVoss, Dr. Barbara L., Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Investigating Homelands of 19th Century Migrants from China's Pearl River Delta: Cangdong Village Archaeology Project'
The Cangdong Village Archaeology Project is the first archaeological excavation of a qiaoxiang (home village) of 19th century migrants from China’s Pearl River Delta region. Nineteenth century immigration from south China was one of the largest voluntary migrations in the modern era, with more than 2.5 million residents leaving rural villages and small towns to live and work abroad. Although archaeologists have studied Chinese diaspora settlements (Chinatowns, work camps, farms, and fishing villages) throughout the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asia, until this point, no excavations have been conducted in migrants’ home villages. Building on four years of dedicated preparation, the Cangdong Village Archaeology Project is a research collaboration among scholars in China and the United States in order to locate and excavate household refuse deposits dating to periods before, during, and after 19th century migration. Recovered artifacts will be analyzed to gain new information about historical change and continuity in foodways, trade and exchange, material culture, labor practices, and religious observances. Ultimately, these analyses will show how village life was impacted as a result of migration, including demographic change, economic remittances, and cultural exchange. The results of this study will also be used in comparative research with archaeological collections from Chinese immigrant settlements in the United States and Australia.