On April 29, 2019, Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Center for Korean Studies (CKS), Center for Chinese Studies (CCS), Dept. of Anthropology, and Archaeological Research Facility, UC Berkeley celebrated the publication of the Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology with the three editors of this volume: Junko Habu, Anthropology, UC Berkeley, and two prominent scholars in the field of Asian Archaeology. Prof. John W. Olsen (University of Arizona) and Peter V. Lape (University of Washington).
Habu spoke about how different theoretical perspectives coming out of Asian archaeology can enrich the globsl study of Archaeology. Olsen spoke about his recent archaeological expeditions in Mongolia and Tibet with a focus on Paleolithic archaeology in these regions. Lape discussed his recent survey of small islands in eastern Indonesia and new information about the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic period. Gyoung-Ah Lee (University of Oregon), a specialist of Chulmun Archaeology in Korea, joined the event as a discussant.
Of special note, Olsen revealed exciting new discoveries on the Tibetan Plateau, including a Denisovan mandible dated to 160,000 years ago, 100,000 years before the first signs of human activity in the area. Clearly, asian archaeology has much to reveal about human origins!