The project supported by the White-Levy Program is the Chengdu Plain Archaeological Survey (CPAS), an international collaborative archaeological project that took place from 2005 through 2011 under the direction of Rowan Flad (Harvard), Pochan Chen (National Taiwan University), Gwen Bennett (Washington University, St. Louis / McGill), Jiang Zhanghua (Chengdu City Institute of Archaeology) and Li Shuicheng (Peking University). The survey involved a multi-faced archaeological investigation of site locations and landscape use in an area of approximately 350 km2 surrounding two Neolithic walled sites (ca. 2600-1700 BCE) in the Chengdu Plain of Sichuan Province, China. Using a combination of surface collection, systematic coring, geophysics and test pits, team members conducted five seasons of investigations and collected thousands of data points useful for synthesizing changing land use contemporaneous with the cultural changes that occurred in the region from the Neolithic, through the subsequent Bronze Age and into the period of the Qin and Han Empires. Settlement patterns attest to a diachronic process that eventually gave rise to the Sanxingdui polity in the second millennium BCE, and subsequent Bronze Age cultures that occupied the region at the time of Qin conquest in 316 BCE.
The publication project is directed by Rowan K. Flad.