Relationship of Archaeological Sites Distr ibution and Environment from the Paleolithic Age to the Warring States Time in Hubei Province

  • 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Department of Geography, Chuzhou College, Chuzhou 239012, China

Received date: 2006-12-25

  Revised date: 2007-01-16

  Online published: 2007-03-25

Supported by

The Key Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.90411015; University Doctoral Foundation of China, No.20050284011; Open Foundation of the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology from the Institute of Earth Environment, CAS, No.SKLLQG0503; Physical Geography of "985" Item and Foundation of Modern Analyses Center of Nanjing University


1362 archaeological sites from the Paleolithic age to the Warring States time in Hubei Province increase gradually from west to east and from high to low. The number of Paleolithic sites with altitudes of 50-500 m account for 78% of the total, while 71%-95% of the sites from the Neolithic age to the Warring States time are distributed at the areas of 0-200 m. The temporal-spatial distribution of archeological sites in this area is mainly affected by two factors. For one thing, the human beings of every age need to choose the first on the second terrace as living sites which are near to the water source and are easy to withstand flood. Additionally, since downcutting of rivers can form new river valley and lateral erosion and accumulation of river in stable time of tectonic movement can result in gathering of many new terraces. So, the human beings migrated to adapt to the change of terrace location, which led to the number of sites increasing gradually in the lower areas of the central and eastern parts of this province. For other things, the temporal-spatial distribution of archeological sites in this area is affected by the climate condition. The Paleolithic sites are distributed mostly in the Hanjiang River Basin in northeastern Shiyan, southeast of Jingzhou and east of Jinmen, which is because rivers were distributed in higher areas in this period. During Chengbeixi cultural period, the sites are rare in the quondam Paleolithic sites distribution area, but manifold obviously along the Yangtze River near the southwest Yichang contrarily. The pollen record of Dajiuhu Lake indicates that only 23 Chengbeixi cultural sites may be related to more precipitation and flood during the Holocene wet and hot period. Daxi Culture, Qujialing Culture and Shijiahe Culture are corresponding to middle and top of the Dajiuhu pollen Zone IV, during which the climate is in order as a whole and is propitious to agricultural development. In the Qujialing Culture period, 32 of the former 34 Daxi Cultural sites disappeared, while 90 sites increase abruptly in the higher highlands in the north of Xiangfan-Jinmen-Xiaogan, which may respect with enlarging of water areas. Chu Culture period is corresponding to Dajiuhu pollen Zone V, which is warm and dry Holocene phase, but it seems that the climate condition is propitious to agricultural cultivation and the number of archeological sites increases heavily to 593. In addition, there are the least archaeological sites in the lake areas of the southeast Hubei Province because of low-lying topography with altitudes of 1-50 m and severest flood.

Cite this article

ZHU Cheng, ZHONG Yishun, ZHENG Chaogui, MA Chunmei, LI Lan . Relationship of Archaeological Sites Distr ibution and Environment from the Paleolithic Age to the Warring States Time in Hubei Province[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2007 , 62(3) : 227 -242 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200703001


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