Ling-Yu Hung

Ling-Yu Hung

Former Assistant Professor, Anthropology


  • Ph.D., Art History and Archaeology, Washington University, St. Louis, 2011
  • M.A., Archaeology, Peking University, Beijing, China, 2000
  • B.A., Anthropology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1997

The Anthropology faculty and students are grateful for the privilege of having known and worked with Ling-yu. She will always be appreciated for her calm and thoughtful presence, her kindness, and her generous collegiality.  Her openness to new ways of thinking and her passion for knowledge will be remembered with affection and respect.

A departmental tribute is being planned for October 15, 2018 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM in the Federal Room, Indiana Memorial Union. We will gather at 4:00 PM; remarks will begin at 4:30 PM, followed by a reception.

About Ling-Yu Hung

Geographical areas of specialization
China; Taiwan

Research Interests
Chinese archaeology; prehistory of Taiwan; craft specialization; ceramics; ritual practice; cultural interaction; geoarchaeology; the application of GIS in archaeology

My archaeological research focuses on trajectories of social change and the development of social complexity. My specialized methodological approaches encompass ceramic analysis (including physicochemical methods), mortuary analysis, ethnoarchaeology, geoarchaeology, and spatial analysis with the application of geographic information systems (GIS). I have extensive field experience in archaeological excavations and surveys in China and Taiwan.

My research in northern China mainly concerns the sociocultural processes involved in the expansion and development of elaborately painted Neolithic Yangshao-Majiayao pottery (ca. 7000–4000 years ago). Since the 1920s, the Yangshao-Majiayao painted pottery and its related cultural traits have received great attention in various theories about the formation of Chinese civilization, the role of these objects in mortuary rituals, possible cross-regional contacts and trading networks, and many other questions that I continue to explore with new datasets and approaches.

Building upon my dissertation research, I am preparing a comprehensive monograph of the Majiayao Culture complex. Meanwhile, with my colleagues from different institutes, I am developing a multidisciplinary investigation of environment, population, and technology in the middle Tao River Valley, Gansu, northwestern China during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. My role in this international project is to examine the materials and techniques involved in ceramic manufacture across a 4000-year period. We hope that the Tao River Project will enlarge our understanding of early globalization and the development of social complexity in ancient China.


Classes Taught
  • ANTH-P301 Ceramic Analysis
  • ANTH-P302 Invention and Technology
  • ANTH-P390/600 Geoarchaeology and Taphonomy
  • ANTH-P399/600 Archaeology of Ancient China
  • ANTH-P399/600 Material Culture of Early East Asian Communities

Selected Publications

2014 Hung, Ling-yu, Jianfeng Cui, and Honghai Chen. Emergence of Neolithic Communities on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau: Evidence from the Zongri Cultural Sites, in The Crescent-Shaped Cultural-Communication Belt: Tong Enzheng's Model in Retrospect: An Examination of Methodological, Theoretical and Material Concerns of Long-Distance Interactions in East Asia, edited by Anke Hein, pp. 65–78. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.

2012 Ho, Chuan kun and Ling-yu Hung. Report on Excavation and Survey of Archaeological Sites in Mt. Ali Township, Jiayi County. National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung. (in Chinese)

2012 Hung, Ling-yu, Jianfeng Cui, and Honghai Chen. Immigration, Trade, Emulation, and Innovation: a Study of Late Neolithic Pottery from the Remote Zongri Site, A Collection of Studies on Archaeology — Essays in Honor of Mr. Wenming Yan for his 80th Birthday, Vol. 8: 242–262. (in Chinese)

2011 Hung, Ling-yu, Jianfeng Cui, Hui Wang, and Jian Chen. A Provenance Study of the Majiayao Painted Pottery found in Western Sichuan Province, Southern Ethnoarchaeology, Vol. 7: 1–58. (in Chinese)

2011 Hung, Ling-yu. Pottery Production, Mortuary Practice, and Social Complexity in the Majiayao Culture, NW China (ca. 5300-4000 BP). PhD diss., Washington University in St. Louis.

2006 Hung, Ling-yu and Chuan kun Ho. New Light on Taiwan Highland Prehistory, Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 26: 21–31.

2006 Arco, Lee, Katherine A. Adelsberger, Ling-yu Hung, and Tristram R. Kidder. Alluvial Geoarchaeology of a Middle Archaic Mound Complex in the Lower Mississippi Valley, U.S.A. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal 21(6): 591–624.