Liu Li (archaeologist)


Liu Li (Chinese: 刘莉; pinyin: Liú Lì; born December 12, 1953) is a Chinese-American archaeologist most well known for her work on Neolithic and Bronze Age Chinese archaeology. She is Sir Robert Ho Tung Professor in Chinese Archaeology at Stanford University.[2]

Liu Li
Born (1953-12-12) December 12, 1953 (age 68)
Alma materNorthwest University (China), Temple University, Harvard University
Known forResearch showing that agricultural technology in Ancient China originated from prototypes in the Upper Paleolithic.[1]
Book on The Archaeology of China from the Late Paleolithic to the Early Iron Age.
AwardsBest Translated Book of the Year in Archaeology, China, Best Translated Book Award (2007)
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
Doctoral advisorKwang-chih Chang

Early life and educationEdit

Liu was sent to the region near Yan'an in 1969 as part of the government's programme to resettle privileged, urban youth. She took the same train as future paramount leader of China, Xi Jinping.[3]

In 1971, Liu began work at a munitions factory in Tongchuan. In a 2016 interview with Chinese Archaeology Web, she describes manufacturing the same two components of firearms continuously for seven years as, 'incredibly, incredibly boring.'[3]

She was part of the first waves of students to take the National Higher Education Entrance Examination to university when it was reinstated in 1977. Liu applied to Northwest University (China) and completed her undergraduate degree in archaeology in 1982.[3]

Liu attend Temple University in Philadelphia for her master's degree. She then completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University under the preeminent archaeologist Kwang-chih Chang.[4]


In 1996, Liu became a lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.[4]

In 2010, she became the Sir Robert Ho Tung Professor in Chinese Archaeology at Stanford University.[2]


  1. ^ Carey, Bjorn (2 May 2013). "Stanford-led research pushes back origins of agriculture in China by 12,000 years". Stanford News. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Li Liu". Stanford Profiles. n.d. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Qiao, Yu (4 May 2016). "Cengjingcanghai, qiusuo bu chuo——Liu Li jiaoshou shoufang tanlu 曾经沧海,求索不辍—刘莉教授访谈录". Zhongguo Kaogu Wang. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Professor Li Liu". Chinese Archaeology. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2016.