Ancient Economic Behaviors and Chemical Analyses - ISNAP ...

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Ancient Economic Behaviors and Chemical Analyses - ISNAP ...

Ancient Economic Behaviors and

Chemical Analyses

How LA-ICP-MS helped us understand behaviors

such as market capture and competition

Presentation to the PIXE group

University of Notre Dame

September 18, 2009


Indian Ocean Exchange

• Oldest evidence of commercial exchange, ca

4000-3000 B.C.E.

• Proto-Industrial Production for Trans-Oceanic

Commerce between South Asia, Mesopotamia, the

Levant and North Africa

• Heavy Dependence on Texts for understanding the

behaviors

• Archaeometric Analysis mainly used for Sourcing

and Provenance


From Provenance to Behavior

• Combining text and provenance analysis

– Many answers on production

• Quality of Production

• Targeted consumers

• Imitations

• Restrictions on Production

• But even more questions on behaviors not in the

texts:

– Smuggling, Dumping, Outsourcing, Market Capture

– Illicit production

• Important Questions


Towards Economic Behaviors

• Archaeology

– Provides These Surprises and Clues to Unexpected

Behaviors

• Combined with Archaeometry and Econometrics

– Clues to alternative and “hidden” economic patterns

• Bring in Ethnography

– Ethnographic and oral historical work on ethnic

merchants, traders, entrepreneurs

– Conservatism of business strategies

– Bricolage

– Clues to Ancient Economic Behaviors


Creating Models for Testing

• Ethnographic work on merchant responses

– Tested through archaeometry

• Compositional analysis

• Provenance analysis

• Model how merchants would be expected to

behave

• Based on observed “real” behaviors of

contemporary or past merchants


Testing Models

• Derive Expected Archaeological and

Archaeometeric Patterns

• These patterns are emergent properties of the

modeled behaviors

• Analysis using LA-ICP-MS

– Non-destructive

– Bulk Samples

– High resolution in ppm and ppb

– Comparable to INAA

– Cost-effective


• Time period

– 1000-1800 C.E.

• Asia and Africa

• Prestige

ceramics

– Gifts

– Commercial

Goods

Targeted Ceramics


Ceramic Types

Chinese

Celadons

Chinese

Blue

and

White

Porcelains


• Stonewares - Celadons

900-1600 CE

– Southern China

– Green Glaze

– Hard Ceramic Body

– Found across Old

World

– Major Kilns in China

• Blue-and-White

Porcelain

• 1200 - present

– Southern China

– Thin Transparent Glaze

– Hard Porcelain

– Cobalt designs

underglaze

– Highly Sought After

– Major Kilns in China


Problem of Imitation

• If something is “expensive enough, it will

be faked” (Rosenfeld)

• Are Southwest Asian Celadon/Blue-and-

Whites just mere “imitations?”

– Innovation

– Experimentation

– Create own styles for market demand

• Threatened to replace Chinese dominance


Imitation Blue-and-White and

Celadon ceramics

1 cm

1 cm


Relations between the state and

commerce in China

• Attempts to control trade

• Restrict commerce

• Taxes, duties, and levies on commerce

• Heavy regulation of export trade

• Frequent embargoes on export

• Exceptions: Tang - Sung, Early Yuan, Ming

Yongle (1403-1425 C.E.)


Modeling Responses


Proposition

• Given constant demand

• Pressure to produce and export

• Faced with competition

– Loss of Market share

• Traders will react by

– Shifting to other commodities

– Intensifying production/export, keep market share

Main Strategy:

Invest in Informal Economy


Chinese Informal Economy

• Ample historical evidence

• Used Guanxi to sustain networks

• The informal economy included

– Merchants, entrepreneurs

– Craftspeople

– Officials and Nobility

– Smugglers and pirates

– Overseas traders

• Diasporan Chinese, other Asians and then Europeans


Trace and Major Element

Analysis Using LA-ICP-MS

• Focus on the Glaze

• Used Trace elements

– Co, Rb, Ni, Cu, Sr, Mn, Zr

– Used by other researchers for provenance

analysis (Cheng et al 2002, 2005)

• Major Element Al and Na in Oxide

Composition


Principle Components Analysis 1

Principle Components Analysis 1

Ceramic

Known Chinese

Blue and White

Known Islamic

Known Chinese

Celadon


Principle Components Analysis 2

Principle Components Analysis 2

Chinese Blue-and-Whites

Co, Rb, and Ni sig. loaded

Middle Eastern Sherds

Cu sig. loaded

Chinese Celadon

Sr, Mn, Zr, sig. loaded


Principle Components Analysis 3

Possible Southwest Asia

Blue-and-Whites: n = 4 (2% ot Total)

Celadon: n = 3 (3% of Total)

Chinese Blue-and-Whites: n = 190 (92% of total)

Chaul: n = 72/78 (92%), Mtwapa: n = 110/124 (88%)

Chinese Celadons: n = 79

(86%of Total)

Southeast Asia,

Japan, Korea

n = 9 (5 % of total)

n = 10 (11 % of total)


Results

• The results clearly show that

– Chinese porcelains and celadons dominated the assemblages at

Mtwapa and at Chaul (93% total)

– Chinese merchants retained their edge and market share

• We can conclude that the need to keep an edge led to the

development of a vast

– Informal entrepreneurial economy

– That formed the basis for the emerging Chinese economy of the

18th and 19th centuries.


Dating A Trade Boom

Commercial Boom in the Indian Ocean 1500-1600

Chinese Merchants would have responded

Against Imitation and Restrictions

Dating Chinese Ceramics through Mn-CO and Mn-FE

Trace elements in Cobalt

Foreign vs Local Cobalt

Different Mn, Fe, Co proportions

Documented use of different sources of Cobalt by Different

Chinese Dynasties


Expected Trend for Chinese Blue-and-White Sherds

Ease of Restrictions

Trade BOOM


Dating the Sherds: Mn-Co Ratios

• Foreign vs Local Cobalt, Different Mn-Co ratios

• High between 1403-1430 and after 1600 C.E (> 4.5).

• Low otherwise (< 4.5)


Dating the Sherds: Mn-Fe ratios

• Low between 1403-1430 CE (>0.35)

• High after 1600 CE (> 0.35)


Expected (line) vs Observed (bar)

Changes in Chinese Blue-and-Whites

Mtwapa: n = 43

Chaul: n = 31

Mtwapa: n = 8

Chaul: n = 7

Mtwapa: n = 0

Chaul: n = 3


Merchant Response to Boom

Chinese Merchants

Responded to Trade Boom and the

Resulting increases in Demand

by

Intensified Production

despite

Internal Restrictions and External

Imitation by reverting to

Informal Economy


General Conclusions

• Traders will react against adverse conditions

• Given sufficient demand and need to keep market

share

• Profit despite restrictions

• Assumptions on the efficacy of state control of

commerce need to take into account

– Rebellion

– Resistance

– Resilience

• Of Trading Communities

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