CSEAS Graduate Colloquium Fall Lecture Series: Laura Junker

Laura Junker

Department of Anthropology

University of Illinois at Chicago


Title: “The Archaeology of Marauders and Havens in the Middle Second Millennium A.D. Philippines:
Contrasting Rugged Terrains of Evasion and Open Landscapes of Surveillance and Warfare”


Hybrid event: Campus Life 100

Zoom registration: https://niu-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModuuvqD0rGd2J0khYk9pxUuyCzZG0c64g


Large maritime trading chiefly polities or states developed in large river valleys in the prehispanic Philippines moved goods from the mountains through wide networks connecting valuable upland products to island shores for further maritime inter-island trade. Tanjay, Cebu, Manila and other shoreline or near-coastal trade centers between the 12th and 16th centuries, tended to be complex social and economic webs connecting groups along well-known river routes, bringing upland products from large, well established river and valley routes to the coast. However, what we might refer to as "non-sanctioned interior trade" in secretive rugged terrains allowed "piratical" marauders to develop havens that obscure their activities and use surveillance on landscapes associated with chokepoints where traders may be violently waylaid. In this lecture, Professor Laura Junker will discuss the "open coastal port" model at Tanjay and the "raider subterfuge" model at Bacong on Negros Island. Extensive plains associated with the coastal trading center of Tanjay suffered violent attacks were documented in skeletal remains at Tanjay, with its large open riverplain with easy trade up flat river valleys for 15-20 km . In contrast, piratical attacks in the Bacong Region, 50 km to the south, were not documented over a decade of archaeological research in the region, since mountainous areas of "rugged" terrain within 1-2 kilometers allowed populations to easily evade detection by sea marauders.


Dr. Laura Lee Junker is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Scientific Affiliate/Adjunct Curator at the Field Museum in Chicago, specializing in the archaeology of Late “Metal Age” (ca. AD 400-1000) and “Early Historic Period” (ca. AD 1000-1520) in the Philippines. Some of the topics she has addressed in her research specifically in the Philippines include: the archaeology of violence and warfare, slave-raiding (often involving moving women around the archipelago), internal craft production systems, and wider political economies that connect coastal trading chiefdoms with upland foragers and tribal peoples who provide forest products to coastal centers. In addition to her Philippine archaeology, Dr. Junker has been involved in archaeological projects that run the gamut in terms of locations and archaeological periods in mainland China and Southeast Asia, including excavations in northern Vietnam focused on state development, archaeological survey in Laos focused on early development of sedentary farmers in the Neolithic Period, and a study of porcelain production in kiln sites in southern China, and earlier archaeological fieldwork at a massive 14th century city in southern India.


This lecture is sponsored by the Graduate Colloquium program at NIU.

Dial-In Information


Friday, November 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Peters Campus Life Building, 100
545 Lucinda Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115

Event Type

Lectures, Presentations and Workshops, Graduate Colloquium


Arts and Culture, Research, Academics, Diversity

Target Audience

Students, Faculty and Staff, Alumni, General Public, Prospective Students


CSEAS Lecture





Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Contact Name

Rachael Skog

Contact Email or Phone


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