A guided archaeological tour to the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park (TNSIP) area will be organized for about 30 participants on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Our highlights include: (i) TNSIP Gallery of Archaeology; (ii) He-yuan Storage of Archaeological Excavated Materials; (iii) Shan-hua Research Laboratory. Limited seats are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
An overview of archaeological sites in the TNSIP:
Since 1996, archaeologists at the Institute of History and Philology of Academia Sinica (mainly Academician Dr. Cheng-hwa Tsang and Dr. Kuang-ti Li and their archaeological team) have started archaeological investigation in the TNSIP. Up to now, 58 archaeological sites have been discovered in the TNSIP. These sites date back to the prehistoric time period of Taiwan, covering a time span of 300 to 5,000 years B.P. and have been chronically divided into six cultural strata (from the oldest stratum to the most recent stratum): (i) Tapenkeng (TPK) culture; (ii) Niu-chou-tzu Culture; (iii) Ta-hu Culture; (iv) Niao-sung Culure; (v) Siraya Culture; (iv) Han-Chinese Culture. The Ta-pen-keng (TPK) culture, also known as the Corded Ware culture, is the earliest Neolithic cultural stratum even found in Taiwan. Two important TPK culture sites are located in the TNSIP: (i) Nan-kuan-li; (ii) Nan-kuan-li East.
Major materials uncovered in the Nan-kuan-li site include pottery (mainly jars and bowls, dark or reddish brown in color with cord-marked, painted and incised decorations), stone tools (mainly polished adzes, arrowheads, and net sinkers), a large number of reaping knives (which were made of pearl shells), a few bone and antler artifacts (including points, chisels, and ornaments of beads and pendants), a large number of faunal and plant remains. Major faunal remains include bones of fish, deer, pigs, and dogs. Plant remains consist mainly of seeds of Picrasma quassioides and Celtis sinensis. Especially noteworthy is the discovery of a few carbonized rice grains. Twelve human burials were recovered at Nan-kuan-li. Six of them belong to infants and youths, and the rest belong to adults. Except one, which was buried in a flexed posture, all of the skeletons were supine and extended. Their heads all point toward the South. Ten radiocarbon-14 age determinations obtained from Nan-kuan-li indicate that the site was occupied by inhabitants in a period between 3,000 and 2,500 BC.
Nan-kuan-li East is located about a few hundred meters east of Nan-kuan-li. This materials excavated from this site are basically similar to what were uncovered from Nan-kuan-li, except the discovery of thousands of carbonized grains of millet. Since no millet grains had ever been found archaeologically in Taiwan, this discovery is of great importance and significance. Morphologically, the millet grains uncovered in Nan-kuan-li East are similar to foxtail millet (Setaria italica), which is still cultivated by the Austronesian-speaking people in Taiwan.
Materials uncovered from the Nan-kuan-li site and the Nan-kuan-li East site (as well as from other archaeological sites in TNSIP) have been analyzed, treated, and/or restored in He-yuan Storage of Archaeological Excavated Materials and Shan-hua Research Laboratory, and then display in the TNSIP Gallery of Archaeology. The He-yuan Storage of Archaeological Excavated Materials is where around 2,000 well-preserved mummies have been treated and analyzed. The Shan-hua Research Laboratory is where pottery shards, animal bones, carbonized grains, stone tools, etc. are analyzed and catalogued. Currently, a total of 310 pieces of artifacts/remains in twelve different categories are displayed in eleven displayed areas in the TNSIP Gallery of Archaeology.
Important notice to those who intend to join in the excursion:
TNSIP is about four-hour drive from Academia Sinica (depending on the traffic). If you plan to join in the tour, make sure that your return flight will not leave Taiwan earlier than July 24, 2015.
Tentative schedule: [subject to change]
6:30AM departure from Academia Sinica
10:30AM-12:00noon TNSIP Gallery of Archaeology
12:00-1:00PM lunch break
1:00-3:00PM He-yuan Storage of Archaeological Excavated Materials
3:00-4:30PM Shan-hua Research Laboratory
4:30PM departure from TNSIP
9:00PM (~10:00PM) arrive in Academia Sinica