The Chifeng region in SE Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was positioned strategically between the early dynastic centers in the agriculturally productive Yellow River basin and the steppe land to its north and west where a pastoral nomadism developed. The Chifeng International Collaborative Archaeological Research Project is focused on this region where no historical documents were written but where excavated mortuary materials suggest the existence of more complexity than reported in Chinese texts of the period. Our first three field seasons (1999-2001) have already begun to provide information on the period from ca. 6000 B.C. through ca. A.D. 200 and the project has begun to collect information necessary to Organize previous archaeological data and reconstruct the social, political, cultural, and economic patterns for the region.
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The authors are grateful to Keith Matthews, Tom Soifer, and Lee Armus for providing us with their K-band Keck image. We also thank Tim Heckman, Julian Krolik, and Ed Turner for useful suggestions, and Dave Carter and Karl Glazebrook for help with the WHT observations. J. L. acknowledges support from NSF grant AST93-03527.