Rong Fan

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Yale U.

Grant number

Gr. 9529

Approve Date

October 11, 2017

Project Title

Fan, Rong, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Physiological Stress, Workload and the Emergence of Social Inequality in Neolithic China, 7000-4000 BC,' supervised by Dr. Anne Underhill

My research aims to investigate how and why social inequality emerged in China during the Middle Neolithic periods by 4000 BC. Due to lack of artifacts or archaeological features which can indicate social status, this period has been underestimated in the discussion of early phases in the development of social complexity in China. My hypothesis is that social differentiation beyond age and sex have already occurred long before 4000 BC. Here I propose a model of ‘social power flow’ to test my hypothesis, and explain the social process how social structure became unequal. In this model, social power is moving in the form of food and labor. By investigating the physiological stress and workload on human skeletal remains, I will be testing whether the social power flew to fewer people. The sample skeletal remains were excavated from six Chinese Neolithic sites: Xinglongwa, Jiahu, Shuanghuaishu, Beiqian, Majiabang and Tianluoshan, roughly dated to 7000 BC to 4000 BC.