Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (4): 543-549.doi: 10.11821/xb200404007

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Distribution of Settlements and Environmental Choices in the Xila Mulun River Valley and Its Neighborhood During the Liao Dynasty

HAN Maoli   

  1. College of Environment, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2003-08-18 Revised:2003-11-23 Online:2004-07-25 Published:2004-07-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40071038


The distribution of settlements in the Xila Mulun River Valley and its neighborhood in the Liao Dynasty is the key factor for analyzing the scope of cultivation and the disturbance of environment. This paper divides the settlements in the area into dichotomies: 1) fundamental settlements dispersing loose-footed, which were relatively small in size and population, and the surrounding cultivated land were limited; and 2) settlements centered by prefectural capitals and county seats, where the population was relatively concentrated and the scope of cultivated land was larger. Most of the latter settlements were memorial places of Khitan history rather than agriculture-fitted ones. Under very few circumstance, to some extreme extent, the county seat loCated in the centre of the desert, where the farming conditions did not exist, but due to the concentration of the population, the intermingle cultivated lands were highly developed. These areas were critical factors causing environmental problems.

Key words: environmental problems, the Liao Dynasty, the Xila Mulun River Valley, settlements