Dr. Francis Allard, Department of Anthropology, organized a forum at the seventy-fifth annual Society for American Archaeology meeting in St. Louis on “The Life Histories of Objects in East Asian Prehistory and History.” The forum included twelve scholars engaged in a discussion.
This forum focused on the topic of shifts in the meaning and function of artifacts over time in East Asia. The participants recognize the need to incorporate into the study of past societies in East Asia varied theoretical and comparative approaches that have to date been mostly ignored by scholars of this large region. The forum therefore served as an ideal setting for a discussion of the strengths and limitations of such approaches, as well as their applicability to each participant’s research topic. It is planned that the forum will lead to an edited volume on the topic.