Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Los Angeles, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10248
Approve DateOctober 7, 2021
Project TitleWang, Zichan (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "Understanding Resilience and Diversity from an Archaeobotanical Perspective—Taosi (ca. 2300-1800 BCE) as a Case Study"
This project investigates the relationship between diversity and resilience using archaeobotanical data from the Neolithic site of Taosi (c. 2300-1800 BCE) in China, as a case study. The endeavor to understand the “collapse,” transformation, and persistence of complex societies has long been at the center of archaeological inquiries. In recent years, the role of diversity in fostering resilience — the ability of a community to absorb disturbances without drastic transformation — has gained increased attention. Diversity, stretching from biological to institutional to cultural diversity, measures not only the number of choices serving a similar function, but also the flexibility to move from option to option. Although diversity is commonly suggested to be beneficial to sustaining social resilience by ecologists and social scientists, archaeological case studies present complicated scenarios that both support and belie this hypothesis when situating it in long-durée investigations. Therefore, this project uses an archaeological case to articulate the role of diversity in various aspects of social life.