Rowan Flad

Rowan Flad

John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology (On Leave AY 2020-2021)
Rowan Flad

Research Interests

Professor Flad's research is currently focused on the emergence and development of complex society during the late Neolithic period and the Bronze Age in China. This research incorporates interests in diachronic change in production processes, the intersection between ritual activity and production, the role of animals in early Chinese society - particularly their use in sacrifice and divination, and the processes involved in social change in general.

Related Publications


Chengdu Pingyuan Guoji Kaogu Diaochadui成都平原国际考古调查队 (In Prep). Chengdu Pingyuan Kaogu Diaocha—2005-2010 nian chengguo 成都平原考古调查 -- 2005-2010年成果 [The Chengdu Plain Archaeological Survey – Results from the 2005-2010 Seasons]. Beijing: Kexue chubanshe.

Rowan Flad and Pochan Chen (2013). Ancient Central China: An Archaeological Study of Centers and Peripheries along the Yangzi River. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Liviu Giosan, Dorian Q. Fuller, Kathleen Nicoll, Rowan K. Flad, Peter D. Clift, editors (2012). Climates, Landscapes and Civilizations. AGU Geophysical Monograph Series, Vol. 198. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union.

Rowan Flad (2011). Salt Production and Social Hierarchy in Ancient China: An archaeological investigation of specialization in China's Three Gorges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zachary X. Hruby and Rowan K. Flad, editors (2007). Rethinking Craft Specialization in Complex Societies: Archaeological Analyses of the Social Meaning of Production. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, No. 17. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.

Yang Hu, Liu Guoxiang, and Tang Chung, editors (English Language editing by Rowan Flad) (2006). Yuqi qiyuan tansuo – Xinglongwa yuqi yanjiu yu tulu玉器起源探索興隆洼玉器研究與圖錄 [The origins of Chinese jade culture – Xinglongwa jades research and catalogue]. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.


Jianping Zhang, Houyuan Lu, Guoping Sun, Rowan Flad, Naiqin Wu, Xiujia Huan, Keyang He, and Yonglei Wang (2016) Phytoliths reveal the earliest fine reedy textile in China at the Tianluoshan site. Nature: Scientific Reports 6: 18664.

Rowan Flad (2016) Recent Research on the Archaeology of the Tibetan Plateau and Surrounding Areas. Archaeological Research in Asia 5:1-3.

Rowan Flad (2015) Salt. In The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia, edited by Mary Beaudry and Karen Metheny, pp. 447-448. Alta Mira Press.

Rowan Flad (2013). Animal Exploitation at Zhongba during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. For Salt Archaeology in China: Ancient Salt Production and Landscape Archaeology in the Upper Yangzi Basin: Studies of Zhongba, Vol. 3, ed. by Li Shuicheng and Lothar von Falkenhausen, pp. 226-261. Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe.

Rowan Flad (2013). The Oracle Bones of Zhongba: Divination at an Early Salt Production Site. In Salt Archaeology in China: Ancient Salt Production and Landscape Archaeology in the Upper Yangzi Basin: Studies of Zhongba, Vol. 3, ed. by Li Shuicheng and Lothar von Falkenhausen, pp. 262-309. Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe.

Rowan Flad, Timothy Horsley, Jade D'alpoim Guedes, He Kunyu, Gwen Bennett, Li Shuicheng and Jiang Zhanghua (2014). Survey, Excavation and Geophysics at Songjiaheba – A Small Bronze Age Site in the Chengdu Plain. Asian Perspectives 52(1):119-142.

Danielle, Raad, Li Shuicheng, Rowan K. Flad (2014) Testing a novel method to identify salt production pottery via release and detection of chloride ions. Journal of Archaeological Science 43: 186-191.

Zhao Zhijun and Rowan Flad (2013). Report on the Floatation Results from the Zhongba Site in Chongqing. For Salt Archaeology in China: Ancient Salt Production and Landscape Archaeology in the Upper Yangzi Basin: Preliminary Studies, Vol. 3, ed. by Li Shuicheng and Lothar von Falkenhausen, pp. 362-387. Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe.

Rowan Flad (2013). The Sichuan Basin. For A Companion to Chinese Archaeology, ed. by Anne Underhill, pp. 125-146. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

D'Alpoim Guedes, Jade, David Carrasco, Rowan Flad, Ethan Fosse, Michael Herzfeld, C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Cecil M. Lewis, Matthew Liebmann, Richard Meadow, Nick Patterson, Max Price, Meredith Reiches, Sarah Richardson, Heather Shattuck-Heidorn, Jason Ur, Gary Urton, Christina Warinner (2013). Is Poverty in our Genes? : A Reply to Ashraf and Galor. Current Anthropology 54(1):71-79.

Rowan Flad (2012). Bronze, Jade, Gold, and Ivory: Valuable Objects in Ancient Sichuan. In The Construction of Value in the Ancient World, ed. by John Papadopoulos and Gary Urton, pp. 258-287. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

Clift, Peter D., Rowan Flad, Dorian Q. Fuller, and Liviu Giosan (2011). Studying the Relationship Between Past People and Their Environments: AGU Chapman Conference on Climates, Past Landscapes, and Civilizations; Santa Fe, New Mexico, 21–25 March 2011. EOS 92(24): 205.

Rowan Flad, Li Shuicheng, Wu Xiaohong, and Zhao Zhijun (2010). Early wheat at Donghuishan. Results from new studies in the Hexi Corridor. The Holocene 20(6):955-965.

Rowan Flad, Jiping Zhu, Changsui Wang, Pochan Chen, Lothar von Falkenhausen, Zhibin Sun, Shuicheng Li (2005). Archaeological and Chemical Evidence for Early Salt Production in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102 (35): 12618-12622. (August 30, 2005).

Yuan Jing and Rowan Flad (2002). Pig Domestication in Ancient China. Antiquity 76 (293): 724-732.

Faculty Department


Contact Information

57G Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue. Cambridge, MA

Research Areas

Alphabetical by Last Name