Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2000, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (6): 661-670.doi: 10.11821/xb200006003

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Relationship between Human Activities and Environmental Changes in The Yangtze Delta of China before Qin Dynasty

ZHANG Li, WU Jianping, LIU Shu ren   

  1. Lab for Urban & Environment Archaeological Remote sensing of State Commission of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2000-06-15 Revised:2000-07-25 Online:2000-11-15 Published:2000-11-15
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China,No.49271053

Abstract: The paper discusses the topic from two aspects: 1 The trace of human activities before Qin Dynasty in Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River). Jiangnan situated on the Yangtze Delta (30°00′~32°20′N, 117°~122°E), topographically is lower in the eastern part and higher in the western. In western Jiangnan, human activities intervened as early as from Old Stone Age, and the affected region continued to extend gradually towards the southeastern during Neolithic. Up to the Qin Dynasty, the cultural sites had been distributed over Jiangnan, with obvious density center of those in various cultural times. 2 Man environment relationship in various cultural times before Qin Dynasty in Jiangnan. It showed certain regularities that the spatial position changes of density center of the cultural sites in Jiangnan in various times were compatible with natural conditions such as temperature, humidity and sea level changes. Based on studies of connotation and changing position of those sites and analysis of man environment relationship and the reasons accountable for cultural layers within sites interrupted in Jiangnan before Qin Dynasty, the changing route of cultural center in Jiangnan before Qin Dynasty was put forward. Finally this paper gives a conclusion that the changes of human activity center are directly related with environmental change. If changes of temperature, precipitation and sea level did not exceed certain limitations, then the Lake Taihu region became cultural center when sea level descended and the amount of precipitation was less than that at the present; whereas sea level rose and the amount of precipitation was higher than that at present, the cultural center moved northward to Ningbo Zhenjiang region. Such a cycling made Jiangnan culture continue to penetrate, blend and change.

Key words: Jiangnan, cultural sites, environmental changes, cultural center migration