Hirofumi Matsumura

Hirofumi Matsumura is a physical anthropologist in the School of Health Science, Sapporo Medical University, Japan. During a 30-year research career, he has worked on numerous excavations in East/Southeast Asia. His bioanthropological analysis of archaeological skeletal remains has focused on prehistoric human migration, with particular emphasis on population history and movement during the Neolithic transition in Mainland and Island Southeast Asia.

New Perspectives in Southeast Asian and Pacific Prehistory »

‘This volume brings together a diversity of international scholars, unified in the theme of expanding scientific knowledge about humanity’s past in the Asia-Pacific region. The contents in total encompass a deep time range, concerning the origins and dispersals of anatomically modern humans, the lifestyles of Pleistocene and early Holocene Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, the emergence of Neolithic farming communities, and the development of Iron Age societies. These core enduring issues continue to be explored throughout the vast region covered here, accordingly with a richness of results as shown by the authors. Befitting of the grand scope of this volume, the individual contributions articulate perspectives from multiple study areas and lines of evidence. Many of the chapters showcase new primary field data from archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Equally important, other chapters provide updated regional summaries of research in archaeology, linguistics, and human biology from East Asia through to the Western Pacific.’ Mike T. Carson Associate Professor of Archaeology Micronesian Area Research Center University of Guam

Man Bac »

The Excavation of a Neolithic Site in Northern Vietnam

Edited by: Marc F. Oxenham, Hirofumi Matsumura, Nguyen Kim Dung
The site of Man Bac in the Red River Delta of Vietnam, one of the most meticulously excavated and carefully analysed of Southeast Asian archaeological sites in the past few years, is emerging as a key site in the region. This book carefully analyses the human and animal remains and puts them into context. The authors describe in detail the health status, the unusual demographic profile and the interestingly divergent affinities of the cemetery population, and discuss their meaning, particularly in association with evidence for the use of marine and terrestrial animal resources; they argue convincingly that the site documents a time when the face of the region’s population was undergoing a fundamental shift, associated with a changing economic subsistence base. Physical anthropologists and archaeologists have argued for years over the timeline, the manner and the very nature of Southeast Asian population history, and this book is essential reading in this debate. Two supporting appendices describe the individual remains in detail.