Formation of the State in Orient

Nikolay N. Kradin

The Features and Mechanisms of State Origins in Far East

The contemporary theories of the state formation differ from the classical theories. First, it was ascertained that there are many reasons which had influence on the political centralization. Second, the state was result by two interrelated processes — consolidation of the society (integrative or functionalist theory) and regulating of structural clash in the society (conflict theory). Thirdly, the societal complexity is not always related to the formation of statehood only. It was result of multilinear processes of social transformation as into the state, as alternative to the state. In Far East external influence of the Chinese dynasties and Manchurian-Korean semi-periphery was of stimulatory nature, accelerated the processes of economic and cultural expansion, political and ethnic consolidation of the pre-state societies. The Bohai kingdom was typical early state. With the establishment of Khitan and Jurchen dynasties, a dual system of management has formed in which the North administration has occupied a higher position as well as controlled of conquerors people. The South administration has copied the bureaucratic system of China and controlled the settled-agricultural territories. With the empire territory expansion due to inclusion of new agricultural areas of China, a process of acculturation of the conquerors has developed. They had more and more lost the contact with the Manchurian traditions. The Khitan and Jurchen gradually were transformed into a typical Chinese dynasty.

Keywords: state origins, politogenesis, early state, Bohai, Khitan, Jurchen.

Downloads Ru

Gideon Shelach

Yitzhak Jaffe

The Earliest States in China: A Long-Term Trajectory Approach

The origins, development, and makeup of early state societies in China have long been a favorite topic of research, though there has recently been an upsurge of attention among archaeologists in China and abroad. Research has been dominated by the identification of the Erlitou site from the early second millennium BC as the center of the earliest state in China, sometimes identified with the Xia Dynasty. Recently, several scholars have employed neo-evolutionary criteria for the identification of Erlitou society as China’s earliest state in an attempt to provide objective criteria for the traditional historiographical narrative. Overarching social and ecological models of cultural change have been severely criticized by anthropological archaeologists, and many archaeologists studying the development of ancient societies prefer to focus on individual case studies or specific institutions rather than on the state. In contrast to recent archaeological scholarship that has called for its total abandonment, we find the “state” a useful concept for understanding local trajectories as well as cross-cultural comparisons. In this article we suggest a way of incorporating the warnings against simplistic overarching models while maintaining the notion of rapid sociopolitical change associated with state formation. Based on an analysis of the long-term trajectory, we identify, in north China, two phases of rapid transformations: the first, starting around 2500 BC, when several unstable regional states evolved and declined, and the second, around 1600 BC, when an intraregional state, usually identified with the historical Shang, rapidly evolved.

Keywords: Chinese archaeology, state, long-term trajectory approach, early states in North China, Longshan, Erlitou, Erligang.

Downloads Ru

Anton O. Zakharov

State Formation in the First Millennium Southeast Asia: A Reappraisal

<First published in: Social Evolution & History, vol. 18, no. 1, March 2019: 217—240. DOI: 10.30884/seh/2019.01.12. Preliminary versions of the article were presented on the two conferences: “Power and Violence in Non-Western Societies: Theory and practice”, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, 19 March 2015; and the 16th International conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Poznan, Poland, 4 July 2017.>

The paper analyses the characteristic features of the emerging ‘Indianized’, or ‘Indic’ kingdoms in Southeast Asia. The paper traces the connections between the power structures and various forms of violence, including warfare. The main sources are inscriptions in Sanskrit, Old Malay, Old Javanese, and Old Khmer. State formation is viewed as the formation of power structures, institutions, and arrangements. Contrary to current scholarly convention stated by Michael Vickery and Dougald O’Reilly that the decisive step to territorial states in Southeast Asia is the origin of the Angkor Empire in 802, the author supposes that the seventh century was crucial for the formation of the territorial policies. The inscriptions of the seventh century issued by the kings of Srivijaya, Chenla (Zhenla), and Campā, do mention territorial units inside the whole kingdom.

Keywords: Indianization, statehood, inscriptions, Sanskrit, royal power, kings, territorial division.

Downloads Ru

Mariya S. Kuznetsova

Kofun — Japanese Burial Mounds

The article is devoted to a comprehensive study of kofun — burial mounds, which were erected in the III—VII centuries in the Japanese islands. The article presents a general description of kofuns, as well as issues such as the history of the study of kofuns from the XVII to the XX centuries, the typology of kofuns in form, the history of the formation and development of this typology, the features of the clusters of kofuns and their localization. In addition, the characteristic features of the internal and external decoration of kofun and their regional specifics are described. Particular attention is paid to the main theories of the origin of kofuns: Chinese, Korean, North Kyushu’s and Siberian. In conclusion, summarizing all the problems considered, the main stages of the historical development of this type of burial in Japan and the possible causes of the extinction of the barrow culture during the Asuka period are described.

Keywords: kofun, Yamato, Japanese culture, Japanese archaeology, history of Japan, burials of Japanese emperors, burial mound, interment, haniwa, Iron Age.

Downloads Ru

Social Archaeology of the Primorye Region

Yana E. Piskareva

Mohe Culture of South Part of Far East: Social and Economic Aspects

The article presents certain aspects of Mohe’s social and economical development. Available data on Mohe’s resettlement in southern Primorye was analyzed. A relatively high density of Mohe settlements, indicating the development of this territory, was noted. The absence of signs of buildingss in dwellings may indicate their existence for a short period of time after which they were no longer used. Presumably, the settlements were used on a single occasion by one group of the population for several years, which may be in account with the extensive agricultural system. The study of Mohe pottery allowed to come to the conclusion that the development of Mohe’s production (at least, pottery) appears to be at one of the transitional stages from home production to craft.

Keywords: Mohe, early middle ages, resettlement, pottery, economy, settlement, ancient wall town.

Downloads Ru

Evgeniya I. Gelman

Internal and External Trade in Bohai State

The article discusses the results of the study of exchanges and trade in the Bohai state (698—926), they based on materials from archaeological sites the Russian Primorye territory. Evidences from Chinese chronicles is provided for comparison and interpretation of archaeological data. The material evidence collected during the excavation is presented by artifacts and eco-facts. The most numerous of them are pottery, it widely used by the Bohai population and well preserved in the cultural deposits of Bohai sites. Production of other kinds of crafts also participated in exchanges, as well as food. Two levels of exchange and trade relations in Bohai society were traced — local and interregional. Also facts of international trade were detected using archaeological data.

Keywords: Bohai state (698—926), trade, exchange, ceramics, glaze, porcelain, zooarchaeology, Russian Primorye, East Asia.

Downloads Ru

Svetlana E. Baksheeva

Roof Tiles as a Criteria of Monumental Architecture among the Primorye Jurchen

The article summarizes the available data on the famous monumental buildings of the Jurchen of Primorye (XII—XIII centuries). An attempt was made to establish the design features of the roof structure and their relationship with the likely functional purpose functional purpose of the structures, location, analysis of the internal structure — interior and contents — archaeological equipment in order to determine the possible status of a building. Colonnade buildings were located on the territory of internal cities of specially fenced sections of monuments. Each building is unique. Not all of them were tiled. As a result of any common system, standards in size and device were not identified. The purpose of the structures is different: these are warehouses, administrative and palace buildings. Tile coverage is very modest. There are several types of roofing. It is curious that, in general, it is the same for buildings that were state repositories of warehouses and churches. Exceptions are buildings under a tiled roof with the largest assortment of tiles, as well as those that had a roofing sculpture, that is, palace-type buildings of the Krasnoyarovskое fortress-site, the upper capital of the state of East Xia and the construction of the Nikolaevskoe town.

Keywords: medieval architecture, roof tiles, monumental buildings, Chzhurzhen, city, palace complex, buildings.

Downloads Ru

Elena V. Astashenkova

Symbols of wealth and power in the art of Bohai and Jurchen population

The article deals with objects of fine and decorative art of Bohai and Jurchen population as socio-political and property markers. The complexes of prestige items were picked out and the conditions when they can be considered, as symbols of wealth and power are determined. First of all, items of decorative art are indicators of the individual property status of a person. At the same time, the important components of this indicator are the cost of the material, the quality of the items, their quantity within one object (burial or dwelling), diversity. The person’s significance in the political life of the society was reflected in monumental burial complexes. During his life, the function of individual signs of high social status was performed by items made of expensive materials and with high artistic skill. The power symbol of the political elite as a social group was the temple and palace architecture.

Keywords: Bohai, decorative and applied arts, Jurchen, Buddhism, prestige goods, symbols of power and wealth, elite.

Downloads Ru

Follow us: