Late Quaternary Climate Change and Human Adaptation in Arid China

Edited by

  • D.B. Madsen, University of Texas, Austin TX, USA
  • F. Chen, Lanzhou University, China
  • X. Gao, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China

Due to political pressures, prior to the 1990s little was known about the nature of human foraging adaptations in the deserts, grasslands, and mountains of north western China during the last glacial period. Even less was known about the transition to agriculture that followed. Now open to foreign visitation, there is now an increasing understanding of the foraging strategies which led both to the development of millet agriculture and to the utilization of the extreme environments of the Tibetan Plateau. This text explores the transition from the foraging societies of the Late Paleolithic to the emergence of settled farming societies and the emergent pastoralism of the middle Neolithic striving to help answer the diverse and numerous questions of this critical transitional period.
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Archeologists, human geographers, anthropologists, paleoclimatologists in archaeological institutes and those conducting research for natural history museums.


Book information

  • Published: May 2007
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52962-6

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction 1-Archaeology at the Margins: Exploring the Late Paleolithic to Neolithic Transition in China's Arid West (David B. Madsen, Chen Fa-Hu, and Gao Xing)Part 2: Climate Change2-Responses of Chinese Desert Lakes to Climate Instability During the Past 45,000 Years. (Bernd Wünnemann, Kai Hartmann, Manon Janssen, and Zhang Hucai Zhang) 3-Post-glacial Climate Variability and Drought Events in the Monsoon Transition Zone of Western China (Chen Fa-Hu, Cheng Bo, Zhao Hui, Fan Yu-Xin, David B. Madsen, and Jin Ming)4-Vegetation Evolution in Arid China During Marine Isotope Stages 3 and 2 (~65-11 ka) (Ulrike Herzschuh and Liu Xingqi) 5-Holocene Vegetation and Climate Changes from Fossil Pollen Records in Arid and Semi-arid China (Zhao Yan, Yu Zicheng, Chen Fa-Hu, and An Chengbang)Part 3: Theoretical Perspectives6-Variation in Late Quaternary Central Asian Climates and the Nature of Human Response (David B. Madsen and Robert G. Elston)7-The transition to Agriculture in Northwestern China (Robert L. Bettinger, Loukas Barton, Peter J. Richerson, Robert Boyd, Wang Hui, and Choi Won)Part 4: Regional and Chronological Perspectives8-Late Pleistocene Climate Change and Paleolithic Cultural Evolution in Northern China: Implications from the Last Glacial Maximum (Loukas Barton, P. Jeffery Brantingham, and Ji Duxue)9-A Short Chronology for the Peopling of the Tibetan Plateau (P. Jeffrey Brantingham, Gao Xing, John W. Olsen, Ma Haizhou, David Rhode, Zhang Haiying, and David B. Madsen) 10--Modeling the Neolithic on the Tibetan Plateau (Mark S. Aldenderfer)11-Zooarchaeological Evidence for Animal Domestication in Northwest China (Rowan K. Flad, Yuan Jing, and Li Shuicheng)12-Yaks, Yak dung, and Prehistoric Human Habitation of the Tibetan Plateau (David Rhode, David B. Madsen, P. Jeffrey Brantingham, and Tsultrim Dargye)Part 5: Summary and Integration13-Changing Views of late Quaternary Human Adaptation in Arid China (David B. Madsen, Chen Fa-Hu, and Gao Xing)