Tag Archives: Yangshao

Bones on my mind

Time to go to the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities for another day searching in Johan Gunnar Andersson’s collections. I’m a part of the Yangshao project (Link to blog – most in Swedish som in English) – a project that aims to learn more about Chinese archaeology & prehistory in general and the neolithic Yangshao traditions in particular.

At the moment we look for bone materials (animal bones) collected during the 1920s at several chinese sites, most situated in the Gansu province. Most of the finds were collected by Johan Gunnar Andersson (1874–1960). This first basic re-search aims to identify the material, from what sites they are and to figure out questions that might give interesting results as well as be possible to do. The material is larger than we originally thought and hold several interesting finds; among them several neolithic dogs, bones from goat, sheep, cow and several different cervids – these can be used to study butchery age and give information on animal size. There are also a lot bone/horn artefacts; needles, scrapes, clubs, handles etc . I’ll get back to you with more information as we get it.

Two things I can show you are two find boxes. One of the things that hits you when you look through old materials is what was used to store the finds: cigarette boxes, film boxes etc. These are a lot more beautiful than todays:

We also found this great reproduction of the Bejing man (Sinathropus pekinensis) skull, made in England by R.F. Damon & company.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Deadlines and articles

I’ve been a bit slow on posting lately, this is due to some deadlines. I’ve been writing an article, together with Johan Klange, on the neolithic Yangshao traditions of the Yellow river valley for a periodical called Kinarapport (China report) published by the Swedish-Chinese association. And I am currently working on two shorter articles for Benbiten, the Swedish Osteological associations periodical on the Iron-Age dolmen Arkeologicentrum (the company I’m employed at) excavated in Odensjö a few years back. The third article is on a bone find, a madible of a coelodonta antiquitatis (a woolly rhinoceros). The find is a curiosity I read about some time ago – in a church in Smaland someone deposited it in the late 19th century and there is stayed. Someone wrote about it in the 30’s or 40’s in a local history book and I stumbled upon it and got interested – and went there and took some photos. Tomorrow I’ll stop by The Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm and look at some reference material and then write a few lines about it.

Otherwise it’s been a few weeks of indoor work, I’ve finished the first report of the year etc.

Magnus Reuterdahl

There is a light in the end of the tunnel

Finally spring seems to have gotten a grip on Scandinavia – the snow is slowly melting, the sun shows its warm face and shines upon us, at least occasionally; the darkness that have had a far too long run this year is withering.

Another sure sign is that one begins to plan for field work; as it seems now it’ll start just after Easter for me, from there on it’ll be a few weeks in the southern parts of Sweden – which is perfect as I probably will be able to catch Jonkoping Sodra first home game against Angelholm in Superettan (football (soccer) Sweden’s second division) April 20th.

Regarding the field work – I’ll let you know when I know for certain – but there seems to start with a survey and continue with a couple of archaeological investigations.

Though I have a lot of things to finish before that, I have an article that needs to be finished about Yangshao for the paper Kinarapport (China report) a report that needs to be finished for the Yangshaoproject, a small article for Benbiten the Swedish Osteological associations periodical – b.t.w. if you have an article on osteology, physical anthropology or an interesting find due to something bone connected as graves, settlements etc. you´re very welcome to contribute (for more information see here). We gladly accept articles in English as well as Swedish. I’ve also need to prepare for a lecture that my associate Johan Klange and I are to hold in Savona, Italy, later this spring about Chinese neolithic painted pottery traditions in the Yellow river valley.

On another note I found some nice prints to hang on my walls here in Ostersund, they been a bit naked. 6 of 9 reprints of Charta Marina aka Charta Gothica by Olaus Magnus (1497-1557). The original was made in 1539 and copies of that in 1572. This reprint is presumably from sometime during the 20th century – the frames are hideous but the maps fantastic.

The southern part of Sweden and Denmark

The northern part of Sweden Norway and Finland

Scotland, a small part of Britain and the Holland


Best wishes

Magnus Reuterdahl

Time for departure

Today we’re off to London, but first a brief visit to the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, then it’s off to the airport and London. In London we’ll attend the conference held by MAP (Museum of Primary Arts) in the Raymond and Bevery Sackler Rooms at British Museum, more information in this event is available at the Italian Cultural Institute in London.

Best wishes

Magnus Reuterdahl

On my way to London

As part of the Yangshao project I and my associate Johan Klange has been invited to a conference at British Museum held by Museo Arti Primarie (MAP), the Museum of Primary Art, on March 5th. So it seems I am off to London next week.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The Yangshao project year 6

The Yangshao project is the baby of me and fellow archaeologist Johan Klange. We been at  it since 2003 and during the process managed to go to China for two field trips, in 2006 and 2007, more on that here. Last year we had hoped to return and participate in an excavation at a Yangshao site, sad to say it didn’t happen as the intended dig was postponed.

painted pottery motive

Now it’s a new year and we started up again, we hope to go to China either as participants in an excavation at a Yangshao site or on a field trip. I’ll get back to the matter as I (we) know more.

painted pottery Banpo

What I do know is that I am meeting with Mr Giuliano Arnaldi super superintendent/curator of Tribaleglobale, Italy, this weekend in Stockholm. It shall be interesting as I am not 100 % sure of what they expect from us, though I’ve understood that Tribaleglobale is a form of art laboratory that do exhibits that mixes art from different periods and places. In this case the project is called “Neolitico Futuro” and it aims at, if I have understood it correctly, to bring together painted pottery from the Chinese Yangshao culture and Egyptian Naqada culture and modern art. For this they are interested to create a platform or build a network of archaeologists, artists, linguists etc.

More about Tribaleglobale and “Neolitico Futuro” can be found here.

Magnus Reuterdahl

To Neolithic China and back! The Yangshao project

Now availible on-line: To Neolithic China and back! The Yangshao project

This article was orginally printed in Benbiten number 1-2, 2007, the (Swedish) Osteological association’s periodical.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Coming attraction: To Neolithic China and back! The Yangshao project.

Benbiten (Bone fragment) number 2, 2007, the (Swedish) Osteological association’s periodical, is fresh from the print. And with this issue my article “To Neolithic China and back! The Yangshao project” is published unabridgedly.  As I previously promised the article will be made available on-line via Testimony of the spade. For now a preview is available at the blog Yangshao projektet  (otherwise in mainly written in Swedish).

Magnus Reuterdahl

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