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Environmental history, palaeoecology and human activity at the early Neolithic forager/cultivator site at Kuahuqiao, Hangzhou, eastern China.

Innes, J. B. and Zong, Y. and Chen, Z. and Chen, C. and Wang, Z. and Wang, H. (2009) 'Environmental history, palaeoecology and human activity at the early Neolithic forager/cultivator site at Kuahuqiao, Hangzhou, eastern China.', Quaternary science reviews., 28 (23-24). pp. 2277-2294.

Abstract

The date and location of the adoption of rice cultivation by foraging cultures in China are of considerable current interest but its understanding is hampered by lack of information regarding its palaeoenvironmental context. We present detailed multi-proxy palaeoecological research at the earliest-dated site of rice cultivation in the coastal littoral of east China which has revealed the precise environmental setting of this early Neolithic settlement and its incipient cultivation at ca 7750 cal BP. Regional and local environmental changes governed the character of the site and the duration of human activity. After an episode of marine conditions, natural hydrological succession and terrestrialisation of the site preceded fire clearance of marsh fen-carr alder scrub that prepared the ground for cultivation and then maintained a reedswamp-type wet grassland in which rice was grown. Cropping of Typha stands may have formed part of the subsistence base before the site was overwhelmed by marine inundation ca 7200 cal BP, after which rice cultivation spread to Neolithic sites of Hemudu type elsewhere in the coastal lowlands. We suggest that integrated multi-proxy palaeoecological studies are vitally important for the full understanding of such key wetland archaeological sites.

Item Type:Article
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (771Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.04.010
Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Quaternary science reviews.
Record Created:19 May 2010 14:20
Last Modified:07 Sep 2010 13:51

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