Ling-Yu Hung

Ling-Yu Hung

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

  • (812) 856-6862
  • Student Building 130
  • Office Hours
    By Appointment Only


  • 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


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.

Courses Taught