Li Liu jointed Stanford faculty in 2010. Previously she taught archaeology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, for 14 years and was elected as Fellow of Academy of Humanities in Australia. She has a BA in History (Archaeology Major) from Northwest University in China, an MA in Anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia, and a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. Her research interests include archaeology of early China (Neolithic and Bronze Age), ritual practice in ancient China, cultural interaction between China and other parts of the Old World, domestication of plants and animals in China, development of complex societies and state formation, settlement archaeology, and urbanism.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Translated Book of Year in Archaeology, China, Best Translated Book Award (2007)
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), Australian Academy of the Humanities (2008)

Program Affiliations

  • Center for East Asian Studies

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Anthropology (1994)
  • M.A., Temple University, Anthropology (1987)
  • B.A., Northwestern University, Xi'an, Archaeology (1982)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Research interests:
Archaeology of early China (Neolithic and Bronze Age); ritual practice in ancient China; cultural interaction between China and other parts of the Old World; early domestication of plants and animals in China; theory of development of complex societies and state formation; settlement archaeology; urbanism; zooarchaeology; starch analysis; use-wear analysis; mortuary analysis; craft specialization

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Reconstructing Late Neolithic animal management practices at Kangjia, North China, using microfossil analysis of dental calculus ANTIQUITY Wang, J., Liu, L., Qin, X. 2024
  • Local adaptation and subsistence strategy of Yangshao migrants in Northwestern Sichuan in China during the Middle Neolithic (5300-4700 cal. BP) HOLOCENE Tang, Y., Wang, J., Liu, L., Chen, W. 2023
  • Beyond subsistence: Evidence for red rice beer in 8000-year old Neolithic burials, north China JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Liu, L., Li, Y., Zhao, Y., Chen, X., Gu, W. 2023; 51
  • Identifying indigenous bast microfibers for archaeological research in East Asia ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Liu, L., He, Y., Grauer, K. C., Wang, Y. 2023; 36
  • Millet Beer Brewing in North China: Exploring Traditional Methods and their Significance in Archaeological Research ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY Liu, L., Liu, Z. 2023
  • Misinterpretations of Shimao Research and Chinese Archaeology A Comment on Jaffe, Campbell, and Shelach-Lavi 2022 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Liu, L., Chen, X. 2023; 64 (4): 464-465

    View details for DOI 10.1086/726447

    View details for Web of Science ID 001063527100006

  • Serving red rice beer to the ancestors ca. 9000 years ago at Xiaohuangshan early Neolithic site in south China HOLOCENE Liu, L., Wang, H., Sun, H., Chen, X. 2023
  • Editorial: Ancient starch remains and prehistoric human subsistence FRONTIERS IN EARTH SCIENCE Guan, Y., Liu, L., Yang, X. 2023; 11
  • Archaeological evidence for initial migration of Neolithic Proto Sino-Tibetan speakers from Yellow River valley to Tibetan Plateau. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Liu, L., Chen, J., Wang, J., Zhao, Y., Chen, X. 2022; 119 (51): e2212006119


    Sino-Tibetan is the second largest language family in the world. Recent linguistic and genetic studies have traced its origin to Neolithic millet farmers in the Yellow River region of China around 8,000 y ago and also suggested that initial divergence among branches of Sino-Tibetan coincided with expansion of the Neolithic Yangshao culture to the west and southwest during the sixth millennium BP. However, archaeological investigations to date have been insufficient to understand the lifeways of these migrant Proto Sino-Tibetan speakers. Here, we present the results of the interdisciplinary research on the material culture and ritual activities related to the initial southwestward migration of Yangshao populations, based on evidence from microfossil remains on ceramics at three sites in Gansu and Sichuan, regional archaeological contexts, and ethnographic accounts of modern Gyalrong Tibetans. The first Yangshao migrants may have integrated with indigenous hunter-gatherers in the NW Sichuan highlands, and adopted broad-spectrum subsistence strategies, consisting of both millet farming and foraging for local wild resources. Meanwhile, the migrants appear to have retained important ritual traditions previously established in their Yellow River homelands. They prepared qu starter with Monascus mold and rice for brewing alcoholic beverages, which may have been consumed in communal drinking festivals associated with the performance of ritual dancing. Such ritual activities, which to some extent have survived in the skorbro-zajiu ceremonies in SW China, may have then played a central role in maintaining and reinforcing cultural identities, social values, and connections with the homelands of the Proto Sino-Tibetan migrants.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2212006119

    View details for PubMedID 36508670

  • The quest for red rice beer: transregional interactions and development of competitive feasting in Neolithic China ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES Liu, L., Wang, J., Chen, R., Chen, X., Liang, Z. 2022; 14 (4)
  • Brewing and Serving Alcoholic Beverages to Erlitou Elites of Prehistoric China: Residue Analysis of Ceramic Vessels FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION He, Y., Zhao, H., Liu, L., Xu, H. 2022; 10
  • Fermented maize beverages as ritual offerings: Investigating elite drinking during Classic Maya period at Copan, Honduras JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Chen, R., He, Y., Li, X., Ramos, J., Li, M., Liu, L. 2022; 65
  • Introduction: Alcohol, rituals, and politics in the ancient world JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Wang, J., Liu, L. 2022; 65
  • The earliest cotton fibers and Pan-regional contacts in the Near East. Frontiers in plant science Liu, L., Levin, M. J., Klimscha, F., Rosenberg, D. 2022; 13: 1045554


    Fiber technology (cordage and textile) has played a central role in all human societies for thousands of years, and its production, application and exchange have deep roots in prehistory. However, fiber remains have only rarely been observed in prehistoric sites because they tend to decay quickly in normal environmental conditions. To overcome preservation problems of macroscopic remains, we employed microbotanical analysis on soils from anthropogenic sediments in activity areas at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley, Israel (ca. 5,200-4,700 cal BC), and recovered fiber microremains. This includes at least two types of bast fibers and the earliest evidence of cotton in the Near East, some of which were dyed in various colors. Some of these fibers likely represent the remnants of ancient clothing, fabric containers, cordage, or other belongings. The cotton remains, probably derived from wild species originating in South Asia, predate the oldest known cotton domestication in the Indus Valley by about two millennia. Tel Tsaf played a pivotal role in trans-regional trade and exchange networks in the southern Levant, and the presence of cotton at the site points to possible connections with the Indus Valley as early as 7,200 years ago.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fpls.2022.1045554

    View details for PubMedID 36570915

  • "Proposing a toast" from the first urban center in the north Loess Plateau, China: Alcoholic beverages at Shimao JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY He, Y., Liu, L., Sun, Z., Shao, J., Di, N. 2021; 64
  • From Hangovers to Hierarchies: Beer production and use during the Chalcolithic period of the southern Levant-New evidence from Tel Tsaf and Peqi'in Cave JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Rosenberg, D., Liu, L., Levin, M. J., Klimscha, F., Shalem, D. 2021; 64
  • Red beer consumption and elite utensils: The emergence of competitive feasting in the Yangshao culture, North China JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Feng, S., Liu, L., Wang, J., Levin, M. J., Li, X., Ma, X. 2021; 64
  • Initial insights into ceramic production and exchange at the early Bronze Age citadel at Shimao, Shaanxi, China ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Womack, A., Liu, L., Di, N. 2021; 28
  • Communal drinking rituals and social formations in the Yellow River valley of Neolithic China JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Liu, L. 2021; 63
  • Neolithic bone meal with acorn: Analyses on crusts in pottery bowls from 7000 BP Hemudu, China INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY Ge, W., Liu, L., Huang, W., Tao, S., Hou, X., Yin, X., Wu, Y. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/oa.3026

    View details for Web of Science ID 000673387300001

  • A functional study of denticulate sickles and knives, ground stone tools from the early Neolithic Peiligang culture, China ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Fullagar, R., Hayes, E., Chen, X., Ma, X., Liu, L. 2021; 26
  • Boost AI Power: Data Augmentation Strategies with Unlabeled Data and Conformal Prediction, a Case in Alternative Herbal Medicine Discrimination with Electronic Nose IEEE Sensors Journal Liu, L., Zhan, X., Wu, R., Guan, X., Wang, Z., Pilanci, M., Luo, Z., Li, G., Wang, Y. 2021: 1-11
  • The brewing function of the first amphorae in the Neolithic Yangshao culture, North China ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES Liu, L., Wang, J., Liu, H. 2020; 12 (6)
  • Making beer with malted cereals and qu starter in the Neolithic Yangshao culture, China JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Liu, L., Li, Y., Hou, J. 2020; 29
  • Response to comments on archaeological reconstruction of 13,000-y old Natufian beer making at Raqefet Cave, Israel JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Liu, L., Wang, J., Rosenberg, D., Zhao, H., Lengyel, G., Nadel, D. 2019; 28
  • Exploitation of job's tears in Paleolithic and Neolithic China: Methodological problems and solutions QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL Liu, L., Duncan, N. A., Chen, X., Cui, J. 2019; 529: 25–37
  • From foraging to farming across the Asia-Pacific: An introduction QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL Levin, M. J., Wang, J., Liu, L. 2019; 529: 1–2
  • Rise and fall of complex societies in the Yiluo region, North China: The spatial and temporal changes QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL Liu, L., Chen, X., Wright, H., Xu, H., Li, Y., Chen, G., Zhao, H., Kim, H., Lee, G. 2019; 521: 4–15
  • A method to identify Job's tears, Coix lacryma-jobi L., phytoliths in northern China JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Duncan, N. A., Starbuck, J., Liu, L. 2019; 24: 16–23
  • The origins of specialized pottery and diverse alcohol fermentation techniques in Early Neolithic China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Liu, L. n., Wang, J. n., Levin, M. J., Sinnott-Armstrong, N. n., Zhao, H. n., Zhao, Y. n., Shao, J. n., Di, N. n., Zhang, T. n. 2019


    In China, pottery containers first appeared about 20000 cal. BP, and became diverse in form during the Early Neolithic (9000-7000 cal. BP), signaling the emergence of functionally specialized vessels. China is also well-known for its early development of alcohol production. However, few studies have focused on the connections between the two technologies. Based on the analysis of residues (starch, phytolith, and fungus) adhering to pottery from two Early Neolithic sites in north China, here we demonstrate that three material changes occurring in the Early Neolithic signal innovation of specialized alcoholic making known in north China: (i) the spread of cereal domestication (millet and rice), (ii) the emergence of dedicated pottery types, particularly globular jars as liquid storage vessels, and (iii) the development of cereal-based alcohol production with at least two fermentation methods: the use of cereal malts and the use of moldy grain and herbs (qu and caoqu) as starters. The latter method was arguably a unique invention initiated in China, and our findings account for the earliest known examples of this technique. The major ingredients include broomcorn millet, Triticeae grasses, Job's tears, rice, beans, snake gourd root, ginger, possible yam and lily, and other plants, some probably with medicinal properties (e.g., ginger). Alcoholic beverages made with these methods were named li, jiu, and chang in ancient texts, first recorded in the Shang oracle-bone inscriptions (ca. 3200 cal. BP); our findings have revealed a much deeper history of these diverse fermentation technologies in China.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1902668116

    View details for PubMedID 31160461

  • Synchronous 500-year oscillations of monsoon climate and human activity in Northeast Asia. Nature communications Xu, D. n., Lu, H. n., Chu, G. n., Liu, L. n., Shen, C. n., Li, F. n., Wang, C. n., Wu, N. n. 2019; 10 (1): 4105


    Prehistoric human activities were likely influenced by cyclic monsoon climate changes in East Asia. Here we report a decadal-resolution Holocene pollen record from an annually-laminated Maar Lake in Northeast China, a proxy of monsoon climate, together with a compilation of 627 radiocarbon dates from archeological sites in Northeast China which is a proxy of human activity. The results reveal synchronous ~500-year quasi-periodic changes over the last 8000 years. The warm-humid/cold-dry phases of monsoon cycles correspond closely to the intensification/weakening of human activity and the flourishing/decline of prehistoric cultures. Six prosperous phases of prehistoric cultures, with one exception, correspond approximately to warm-humid phases caused by a strengthened monsoon. This ~500-year cyclicity in the monsoon and thus environmental change triggered the development of prehistoric cultures in Northeast China. The cyclicity is apparently linked to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, against the background of long-term Holocene climatic evolution. These findings reveal a pronounced relationship between prehistoric human activity and cyclical climate change.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-12138-0

    View details for PubMedID 31511523

  • Fermented beverage and food storage in 13,000 y-old stone mortars at Raqefet Cave, Israel: Investigating Natufian ritual feasting JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Liu, L., Wang, J., Rosenberg, D., Zhao, H., Lengyel, G., Nadel, D. 2018; 21: 783–93
  • Harvesting and processing wild cereals in the Upper Palaeolithic Yellow River Valley, China ANTIQUITY Liu, L., Levin, M. J., Bonomo, M. F., Wang, J., Shi, J., Chen, X., Han, J., Song, Y. 2018; 92 (363): 603–19
  • Emerging approaches to the development of urbanization in early China ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Owlett, T. E., Liu, L., Underhill, A. P. 2018; 14: 1–6
  • The first Neolithic urban center on China's north Loess Plateau: The rise and fall of Shimao ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Sun, Z., Shao, J., Liu, L., Cui, J., Bonomo, M. F., Guo, Q., Wu, X., Wang, J. 2018; 14: 33–45
  • Wild plant use and multi-cropping at the early Neolithic Zhuzhai site in the middle Yellow River region, China HOLOCENE Bestel, S., Bao, Y., Zhong, H., Chen, X., Liu, L. 2018; 28 (2): 195–207
  • Plant exploitation of the first farmers in Northwest China: Microbotanical evidence from Dadiwan Quaternary International Wang, J., Zhao, X., Wang, H., Liu, L. 2018
  • Response to Comments on "Outburst flood at 1920 BCE supports historicity of China's Great Flood and the Xia dynasty". Science (New York, N.Y.) Wu, Q., Zhao, Z., Liu, L., Granger, D. E., Wang, H., Cohen, D. J., Wu, X., Ye, M., Bar-Yosef, O., Lu, B., Zhang, J., Zhang, P., Yuan, D., Qi, W., Cai, L., Bai, S. 2017; 355 (6332): 1382


    Wu et al, Han, and Huang et al question our reconstruction of a large outburst flood and its possible relationship to China's Great Flood and the Xia dynasty. Here, we clarify misconceptions concerning geologic evidence of the flood, its timing and magnitude, and the complex social-cultural response. We also further discuss how this flood may be related to ancient accounts of the Great Flood and origins of the Xia dynasty.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aal1325

    View details for PubMedID 28360294

  • Response to Comments on "Outburst flood at 1920 BCE supports historicity of China's Great Flood and the Xia dynasty" SCIENCE Wu, Q., Zhao, Z., Liu, L., Granger, D. E., Wang, H., Cohen, D. J., Wu, X., Ye, M., Bar-Yosef, O., Lu, B., Zhang, J., Zhang, P., Yuan, D., Qi, W., Cai, L., Bai, S. 2017; 355 (6332)
  • Identifying ancient beer brewing through starch analysis: A methodology Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports Wang, J., Liu, L., Georgescu, A., Ota, M., Tang, S., Vanderbilt, M. 2017; 15: 150-160
  • Usewear and residue analyses of experimental harvesting stone tools for archaeological research Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports Liu, L., Wang, J., Levin, M. J. 2017; 14: 439-453
  • Millet grain morphometry as a tool for social inference: A case study from the Yiluo basin, China HOLOCENE Walsh, R., Lee, G., Liu, L., Chen, X. 2016; 26 (11): 1778-1787
  • Changing patteins of plant-based food production during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age in central-south Inner Mongolia, China: An interdisciplinary approach QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL Liu, L., Duncan, N. A., Chen, X., Zhao, H., Ji, P. 2016; 419: 36-53
  • Outburst flood at 1920 BCE supports historicity of China's Great Flood and the Xia dynasty SCIENCE Wu, Q., Zhao, Z., Liu, L., Granger, D. E., Wang, H., Cohen, D. J., Wu, X., Ye, M., Bar-Yosef, O., Lu, B., Zhang, J., Zhang, P., Yuan, D., Qi, W., Cai, L., Bai, S. 2016; 353 (6299): 579-582


    China's historiographical traditions tell of the successful control of a Great Flood leading to the establishment of the Xia dynasty and the beginning of civilization. However, the historicity of the flood and Xia remain controversial. Here, we reconstruct an earthquake-induced landslide dam outburst flood on the Yellow River about 1920 BCE that ranks as one of the largest freshwater floods of the Holocene and could account for the Great Flood. This would place the beginning of Xia at ~1900 BCE, several centuries later than traditionally thought. This date coincides with the major transition from the Neolithic to Bronze Age in the Yellow River valley and supports hypotheses that the primary state-level society of the Erlitou culture is an archaeological manifestation of the Xia dynasty.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aaf0842

    View details for PubMedID 27493183

  • Revealing a 5,000-y-old beer recipe in China PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Wang, J., Liu, L., Ball, T., Yu, L., Li, Y., Xing, F. 2016; 113 (23): 6444-6448


    The pottery vessels from the Mijiaya site reveal, to our knowledge, the first direct evidence of in situ beer making in China, based on the analyses of starch, phytolith, and chemical residues. Our data reveal a surprising beer recipe in which broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), and tubers were fermented together. The results indicate that people in China established advanced beer-brewing technology by using specialized tools and creating favorable fermentation conditions around 5,000 y ago. Our findings imply that early beer making may have motivated the initial translocation of barley from the Western Eurasia into the Central Plain of China before the crop became a part of agricultural subsistence in the region 3,000 y later.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1601465113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377155400039

    View details for PubMedID 27217567

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4988576

  • Plant-based subsistence strategies and development of complex societies in Neolithic Northeast China: Evidence from grinding stones Journal of Archaeological science: Reports Liu, L., Duncan, N. A., Chen, X., Ji, P. 2016; 7: 247-261
  • Understanding household subsistence activities in Neolithic Inner Mongolia, China: Functional analyses of stone tools. Journal of Anthropological Research Liu, L., Chen, X., Ji, P. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.1086/686298

  • Plant domestication, cultivation, and foraging by the first farmers in early Neolithic Northeast China: Evidence from microbotanical remains HOLOCENE Liu, L., Duncan, N. A., Chen, X., Liu, G., Zhao, H. 2015; 25 (12): 1965-1978
  • A long process towards agriculture in the Middle Yellow River valley, China: Evidence from macro- and micro-botanical remains Journal of Indo-Pacific Archaeology Liu, L. 2015; 35: 3-14
  • Identification of starch granules using a two-step identification method JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Liu, L., Ma, S., Cui, J. 2014; 52: 421-427
  • A broad-spectrum subsistence economy in Neolithic Inner Mongolia, China: Evidence from grinding stones HOLOCENE Liu, L., Kealhofer, L., Chen, X., Ji, P. 2014; 24 (6): 726-742
  • When and how did Bos indicus introgress into Mongolian cattle? GENE Yue, X., Li, R., Liu, L., Zhang, Y., Huang, J., Chang, Z., Dang, R., Lan, X., Chen, H., Lei, C. 2014; 537 (2): 214-219


    The Mongolian cattle are one of the most widespread breeds with strictly Bos taurus morphological features in northern China. In our current study, we presented a diversity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop region and Y chromosome SNP markers in 25 male and 8 female samples of Mongolian cattle from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Western China, and detected 21 B. taurus and four Bos indicus (zebu) mtDNA haplotypes. Among four B. indicus mtDNA haplotypes, two haplotypes belonged to I1 haplogroup and the remaining two haplotypes belonged to I2 haplogroup. In contrast, all 25 male Mongolian cattle samples revealed B. taurus Y chromosome haplotype and no B. indicus haplotypes were found. Historical and archeological records indicate that B. taurus was introduced to Xinjiang during the second millennium BC and B. indicus appeared in this region by the second century AD. The two types of cattle coexisted for many centuries in Xinjiang, as depicted in clay and wooden figurines unearthed in the Astana cemetery in Turfan (3rd-8th century AD). Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the earliest B. indicus introgression in the Mongolian cattle may have occurred during the 2nd-7th centuries AD through the Silk Road around the Xinjiang region. This conclusion differs from the previous hypothesis that zebu introgression to Mongolian cattle happened during the Mongol Empire era in the 13th century.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gene.2013.12.066

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331509600006

    View details for PubMedID 24418696

  • The evolution of millet domestication, Middle Yellow River Region, North China: Evidence from charred seeds at the late Upper Paleolithic Shizitan Locality 9 site HOLOCENE Bestel, S., Crawford, G. W., Liu, L., Shi, J., Song, Y., Chen, X. 2014; 24 (3): 261-265
  • Paleolithic human exploitation of plant foods during the last glacial maximum in North China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Liu, L., Bestel, S., Shi, J., Song, Y., Chen, X. 2013; 110 (14): 5380-5385


    Three grinding stones from Shizitan Locality 14 (ca. 23,000-19,500 calendar years before present) in the middle Yellow River region were subjected to usewear and residue analyses to investigate human adaptation during the last glacial maximum (LGM) period, when resources were generally scarce and plant foods may have become increasingly important in the human diet. The results show that these tools were used to process various plants, including Triticeae and Paniceae grasses, Vigna beans, Dioscorea opposita yam, and Trichosanthes kirilowii snakegourd roots. Tubers were important food resources for Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, and Paniceae grasses were exploited about 12,000 y before their domestication. The long tradition of intensive exploitation of certain types of flora helped Paleolithic people understand the properties of these plants, including their medicinal uses, and eventually led to the plants' domestication. This study sheds light on the deep history of the broad spectrum subsistence strategy characteristic of late Pleistocene north China before the origins of agriculture in this region.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1217864110

    View details for PubMedID 23509257

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3619325

  • Stone tool-use experiments to determine the function of grinding stones and denticulate sickles Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Fullagar, R., Liu, L., Bestel, S., Jones, D., Ge, W., Wilson, A., Zhai, S. 2012; 32: 29-44
  • Were Neolithic rice paddies plowed? -- Usewear analysis of plow-shaped tools from Pishan in the Lower Yangzi River Region, China Vestnik Liu, L., Chen, X., Pan, L., Min, Q., Jiang, L. 2012; 11 (10): 14-28
  • Plant exploitation of the last foragers at Shizitan in the Middle Yellow River Valley China: evidence from grinding stones JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Liu, L., Ge, W., Bestel, S., Jones, D., Shi, J., Song, Y., Chen, X. 2011; 38 (12): 3524-3532
  • Archaeological Soybean (Glycine max) in East Asia: Does Size Matter? PLOS ONE Lee, G., Crawford, G. W., Liu, L., Sasaki, Y., Chen, X. 2011; 6 (11)


    The recently acquired archaeological record for soybean from Japan, China and Korea is shedding light on the context in which this important economic plant became associated with people and was domesticated. This paper examines archaeological (charred) soybean seed size variation to determine what insight can be gained from a comprehensive comparison of 949 specimens from 22 sites. Seed length alone appears to represent seed size change through time, although the length × width × thickness product has the potential to provide better size change resolution. A widespread early association of small seeded soybean is as old as 9000-8600 cal BP in northern China and 7000 cal BP in Japan. Direct AMS radiocarbon dates on charred soybean seeds indicate selection resulted in large seed sizes in Japan by 5000 cal BP (Middle Jomon) and in Korea by 3000 cal BP (Early Mumun). Soybean seeds recovered in China from the Shang through Han periods are similar in length to the large Korean and Japanese specimens, but the overall size of the large Middle and Late Jomon, Early Mumun through Three Kingdom seeds is significantly larger than any of the Chinese specimens. The archaeological record appears to disconfirm the hypothesis of a single domestication of soybean and supports the view informed by recent phyologenetic research that soybean was domesticated in several locations in East Asia.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0026720

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297198200017

    View details for PubMedID 22073186

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3208558

  • Pathways to Social Complexity in China Archeological Journal of the Catholic University in Lima Peru Liu, L. 2010; 11: 379-403
  • Academic freedom, political correctness, and early civilisation in Chinese archaeology: the debate on Xia-Erlitou relations ANTIQUITY Liu, L. 2009; 83 (321): 831-843
  • On the provenance of white pottery of the Erlitous site: the significance of Sr isotopic analysis 2009 Science and Technology on Ancient Ceramics: The 7th International Conference Proceedings Liu, L. edited by Luo, H. 2009: 65–70
  • China: State Formation and Urbanization The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology Liu, L. edited by Cunliffe, B., Gosden, C., Joyce, R. Oxford: University of Oxford. 2009: 579–610
  • The Emergence of Agriculture and Animal Domestication in China The Neolithic Revolution in the World Liu, L. edited by Demoule, J. Paris: CNRS Editions. 2009
  • State Emergence in Early China ANNUAL REVIEW OF ANTHROPOLOGY Liu, L. 2009; 38: 217-232
  • Wild or domesticated: DNA analysis of ancient water buffalo remains from north China JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Yang, D. Y., Liu, L., Chen, X., Speller, C. F. 2008; 35 (10): 2778-2785
  • Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology ANTIQUITY Liu, L., Xu, H. 2007; 81 (314): 886-901
  • Evidence for the early beginning (c. 9000 cal. BP) of rice domestication in China: a response HOLOCENE Liu, L., Lee, G., Jiang, L., Zhang, J. 2007; 17 (8): 1059-1068
  • Early figurations in China: Ideological, social, and ecological implications Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation Liu, L. edited by Renfrew, C., Morley, I. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs. 2007: 271–286
  • The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States Liu, L. Beijing: Cultural Relics Press. 2007
  • State Formation in Early China Liu, L., Chen, X., Translated by Shim, J. South Korea: Hakyon munhwasa Press. 2006
  • Sociopolitical change from Neolithic to Bronze Age China Archaeology of Asia Liu, L. edited by Stark, M. T. Blackwell Publishers, Malden, Oxford, and Carlton. 2006: 149–176
  • Urbanization in China: Erlitou and its hinterland Urbanism in the Preindustrial World: Cross-Cultural Approaches Liu, L. edited by Storey, G. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 2006: 161–189
  • The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States Liu, L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2004
  • 'The products of minds as well as of hands': Production of prestige goods in the Neolithic and early state periods of China Asian Perspectives Liu, L. 2003; 42 (1): 1-40
  • State Formation in Early China Liu, L., Chen, X. London: Duckworth. 2003
  • The First Emperor's Mausoleum and the Terracotta Army Two Emperors - China's Ancient Origins Liu, L. edited by Delroy, A. Melbourne: Praxis Exhibitions Australia. 2002: 44–53
  • Yangling and Searching for Immortality in the Han Dynasty Two Emperors - China's Ancient Origins Liu, L. edited by Delroy, A. Melbourne: Praxis Exhibitions Australia. 2002: 102–107
  • China Encyclopedia of archaeology: history and discoveries Liu, L. edited by Murray, T. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 2001: 315–333
  • Chang, Kwang-chih Encyclopedia of archaeology: history and discoveries Liu, L. edited by Murray, T. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 2001: 298–299
  • Ancestor worship: An Archaeological investigation of ritual activities in Neolithic North China Journal of East Asian Archaeology Liu, L. 2000; 2 (1-2): 129-164
  • Who were the ancestors? The origins of Chinese ancestral cult and racial myths ANTIQUITY Liu, L. 1999; 73 (281): 602-613