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Piecing Together Sha PoArchaeological Investigations and Landscape Reconstruction$
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Mick Atha and Kennis Yip

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208982

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208982.001.0001

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Bronze Age: Technology, Trade, and Increasing Social Complexity

Bronze Age: Technology, Trade, and Increasing Social Complexity

(p.63) 5 Bronze Age: Technology, Trade, and Increasing Social Complexity
Piecing Together Sha Po

Mick Atha

Kennis Yip

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 5 examines one of Sha Po’s most fascinating and important periods of cultural development, the Bronze Age, a period during which the local community was making wider and more specialised use of the coastal landscape. On the plateau there was some form of stilt-house settlement associated with the specialised manufacture of fine quartz rings, while on the backbeach we have the region’s best evidence for non-ferrous metallurgy in the form of in situ bronze casting. The evidence for craft specialisation tells us that society was undergoing change and could perhaps support the work of artisans through some form of surplus production of food. Moreover, access to more advanced technology and exotic materials are both indications of a widening of external contacts, trade, and exchange, while a heightened interest in personal ornamentation and display points towards greater competition and the emergence of social hierarchies.

Keywords:   Contact, trade, and exchange, Pyrotechnology, Bronze casting, Craft specialisation, Quartz ornament workshop, Social hierarchies, Stilt-house, Settlement, Prestige goods, Competition, Display, Chiefdom

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