Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2005, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (5): 742-750.doi: 10.11821/xb200505005

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Distribution of Neolithic Sites and Environmental Change in Huaihe River Basin, Anhui Province

HUANG Run1,2, ZHU Cheng1, ZHENG Chaogui1   

  1. 1. Department of Urban and Resources Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Department of Urban Construction and Environmental Science, Wanxi College, Luan 237012, China
  • Received:2005-05-27 Revised:2005-06-23 Online:2005-09-25 Published:2005-09-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40271103; Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Provincial Education Department, No.2005KJ202/021


Huaihe River basin in Anhui is not only a transitional zone of physical geography, but also an interaction area of many cultures in China. Fishing and hunting played the dominant roles in Shishanzi cultural period; fishing and hunting as well as farming were equal important in Dawenkou cultural period; and priority was given to farming over fishing and hunting in Longshan cultural period. Using the field archaeological data and the sporo-pollen and age data of the drilling cores, we analysed Neolithic cultural development and environmental evolution in Huaihe River basin, Anhui, and discussed the relationship between culture and environment in the area by combining archaeological research results with researches of environmental evolution. The Neolithic cultural development was strongly impacted by the environmental change. The primitive culture (Shishanzi) was developed in the beginning of Holocene Megathermal Period when regional feature of culture was distinct. From 6.5 kaBP to 5.5 kaBP, the climate became warmer and wetter. Flood and waterlog frequently occurred. As a consequence of the impact of such a climate and high sea level, the environment of the earth's surface deteriorated in Huaihe River basin, Anhui, causing the interruption of the Neolithic cultural development and the lack of archaeological sites. From 5.5 kaBP to 4.0 kaBP, the climate changed from wet to dry, the natural environment was favorable to human survival. Dawenkou Culture and Longshan Culture flourished in this period. The Neolithic cultural development, the amount of the sites and their distribution characteristics in Huaihe River basin of Anhui differed apparently from those in central China and Shandong Province.

Key words: Huaihe River basin in Anhui, Holocene, environmental change, Neolithic site, temporal-spatial distribution