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Climate change and cultural response around 4000 cal yr B.P. in the western part of Chinese Loess Plateau

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Cheng-Bang An
Affiliation:
Center for Arid Environment and Paleoclimate Research, Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Environment and Resources College, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Lingyu Tang
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
Loukas Barton
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Fa-Hu Chen
Affiliation:
Center for Arid Environment and Paleoclimate Research, Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Environment and Resources College, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

New data suggest that dramatic environmental change in the Western Loess Plateau of China corresponded with substantial changes in human demography ca. 4000 cal yr B.P. These data demonstrate that a rapid climatic transition from wet to dry led to an ecologically devastated period between 4090 and 3600 cal yr B.P. The sudden reduction in the number of archaeological sites during this period, namely a reduction in the total number of sites and a contraction of the areal distribution of sites, points to declining agricultural productivity associated with widespread aridification beginning at 4000 cal yr B.P.

Type
Short Papers
Copyright
University of Washington

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