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In-site pollen record from the Dadiwan archaeological site and the human-environment relationship during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 3

  • Wei Peng (a1), Xiaozhong Huang (a1), Dongju Zhang (a1), Michael J. Storozum (a2) and Fahu Chen (a1) (a3)...

Abstract

Climatic change that affects biological productivity is often argued to be a primary force influencing human activities during the glacial period. To test this assumption, we combine in-site pollen, paleoclimatic, and archaeological data from the Dadiwan site and nearby areas on the western Loess Plateau (WLP) that date to Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Our comparison of multiple datasets suggests that regional human activities increased when the vegetation around the Dadiwan area shifted from forest steppe in the early MIS 3 (59–46.7 ka) to steppe in the middle to late MIS 3 (46.7–29.5 ka). Our results indicate that regional human activities increased again during the late MIS 3 when the amount of precipitation was higher, as indicated by the lower Artemisia proportion. We suggest that increased precipitation on the WLP enhanced the above-ground biomass production and may be responsible for an increase in human activity and population in this region.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author at: Ministry of Education (MOE) Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, South Tianshui Road 222, Lanzhou Gansu, China 730000. E-mail address: xzhuang@lzu.edu.cn (X. Huang).

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