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Title: Holocene agriculture in the Guanzhong Basin in NW China indicated by pollen and charcoal evidence
Authors: Li, XQ
Shang, X
Dodson, JR
Zhou, XY
Keywords: Quaternary period
Archaeological sites
Issue Date: Dec-2009
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Li, X. Q., Shang, X., Dodson, J. R., & Zhou, X. Y. (2009). Holocene agriculture in the Guanzhong Basin in NW China indicated by pollen and charcoal evidence. Holocene, 19(8), 1213-1220. doi:10.1177/0959683609345083
Abstract: The emergence and rapid spread of agriculture from the early Holocene has made a great impact on the development of human societies and landscape change. Guanzhong Basin in the middle of Yellow River valley has a long continuous history of agriculture since the Neolithic. The pollen and charcoal records from Xindian in western Guanzhong Basin, together with the known distribution of archaeological sites, provide proxies to reconstruct the history of agricultural activity and landscape change. The concentration and percentage of Poaceae pollen increase from about 7700 yr BP ago and the concentration of charcoal shows the same trend. These records indicate that the ‘slash-and-burn’ cultivation for agriculture began around 7700 years ago. Between 7700 and 5500 yr BP, the evidence of cereal crops remained strong and charcoal concentration and archaeological sites increased greatly, which all indicate increased agricultural activity and the expansion of human populations. This was enhanced by the continuous development of new cultivation tools and techniques between 4700 and 3300 yr BP, especially in the Bronze Age of the pre-Zhou Dynasty. The original agricultural landscape had been settled after 3300 yr BP. Buckwheat became an important crop from around 5500 yr BP, perhaps because of increasing aridity. This is the earliest record of cultivated buckwheat in Neolithic China. © 2009, SAGE Publications
Gov't Doc #: 1499
ISSN: 0959-6836
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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