Holocene environmental change and archaeology, Yangtze River Valley, China: Review and prospects

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Abstract

Holocene environmental change and environmental archaeology are important components of an international project studying the human-earth interaction system. This paper reviews the progress of Holocene environmental change and environmental archaeology research in the Yangtze River Valley over the last three decades, that includes the evolution of large freshwater lakes, Holocene transgression and sea-level changes, Holocene climate change and East Asian monsoon variation, relationship between the rise and fall of primitive civilizations and environmental changes, cultural interruptions and palaeoflood events, as well as relationship between the origin of agriculture and climate change. These research components are underpinned by the dating of lacustrine sediments, stalagmites and peat to establish a chronology of regional environmental and cultural evolution. Interdisciplinary and other environment proxy indicators need to be used in comparative studies of archaeological site formation and natural sedimentary environment in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Valley. Modern technology such as remote sensing, molecular bioarchaeology, and virtual reality, should be integrated with currently used dating, geochemical, sedimentological, and palaeobotanical methods of analysis in environmental archaeology macro- and micro-studies, so as to provide a greater comprehensive insight into Holocene environmental and cultural interaction and change in the Yangtze River Valley area. © 2012, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Wu, L., Li, F., Zhu, C., Li, L., & Li, B. (2012). Holocene environmental change and archaeology, Yangtze River Valley, China: Review and prospects. Geoscience Frontiers, 3(6), 875–892. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2012.02.006

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