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Unveiling the Protohistory of Northern Taiwan: The Archaeology of the Basay and the Kavalan

May 3, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Lecture by Dr. Ellen Hsieh, Associate Professor, Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University

Although Taiwan is known for its diverse indigenous Austronesian cultures, lowland indigenous groups faced varying degrees of challenges since the beginning of the Age of Contact (European), and some groups have been officially considered ‘disappeared’ by the state. The Basay and the Kavalan people were two indigenous groups who lived along the northern coast and Yilan Plain of the island, respectively, during the protohistorical period. Texts from the European and Chinese settlers provide limited information about them but archaeological investigations in recent years reveal the deep histories of the groups” their connections to each other and the global world. Their experiences with Spanish colonialism also shaped the two groups differently. As such, the archaeology of the Basay and the Kavalan not only enriches our understanding of these people but also sheds light on the archaeology of colonialism in Asia.

Dr. Ellen Hsieh¬†is an assistant professor in the Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University, a research associate of the National Museum of the Philippines, and an editorial board member of the SPAFA Journal. She is an historical archaeologist focusing on trade and colonialism in maritime East and Southeast Asia. She is currently the PI of a project entitled ‘Hermosa, the Philippines, and the World in the Context of Spanish Colonialism: An Integrated Historical Archaeology Study of Power, Religion, and Trade Networks.


May 3, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm