Rediscovering the settlement system of the ‘Dian’ kingdom, in Bronze Age southern China

Alice Yao and 蔣志龍 (Jiang Zhilong)
Antiquity, 2012 vol. 86 pp. 353-367
Online version
Abstract: Surface collection, exposed sections and the use of irrigation wells and channels enabled the authors to map the settlement pattern of the elusive Dian kingdom before it became a subsidiary of the Han empire. The pattern showed that the Dian were already hierarchical, with settlements of different sizes and a political centre in which ritual bronzes featured. The empire redrew the landscape, with settlement migrating away from the wetlands into the hills where it could oversee the routes of communication into Southeast Asia.