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1 millets, rice, pigs, chickens, yak, water buffalo, dog, humped
Yellow R. Yangtze R. SE Asia East Asia: millets, rice, pigs, chickens, yak, water buffalo, dog, humped cattle (Zebu), and others

2 CLIMATE Younger Dryas (super cold), 10,800-9,600 BC, followed by brief warming, including early experimentation with grains (e.g., rice and millet), then cooling until 8,000 BC 8,000 to 6500 BC there was marked warming, marks transition to agriculture Colder phase starting ca BC (Guliya and Dunde glaciers advanced); clear agricultural villages by 6000 BC During Yangshao culture in the Yellow River Valley (from 5000 BC) bamboo 3 degrees farther north. 


4 Orange = millet Blue = rice

5 Transition to Agriculture in the Yellow River: Millet
Hunter-gatherer sites until 7,500 BC (Xiachuan Caves, Shunwangpin); denticulate tool with sheen from harvesting grasses, such as wild green foxtail millet Nanzhuangtou (10,500-7,500 BC) Small sample of pot sherds Grinding stone Possibly domestic pig bones (earliest in central China) and dog

6 Cishan excavations revealed two Neolithic layers dating to BC 8 ha (20 acre) open site, suggesting population in the low hundreds or more Small, semi-subterranean round houses Hundreds of pits likely for storage of grains, including domesticated millet, and gathered plants Domesticated dogs and pigs predominate but also included fish, shellfish, turtles, deer, monkey, wild pig, and birds, including early domesticated chicken

7 Cishan, BC “The origin of millet from Neolithic China has generally been accepted, but it remains unknown whether common millet (Panicum miliaceum) or foxtail millet (Setaria italica) was the first species domesticated.” “Here, we report the discovery of husk phytoliths and biomolecular components identifiable solely as common millet from newly excavated storage pits at the Neolithic Cishan site, China, dated to between ca. 10,300 and ca. 8,700 cal yr BP [8,300-6,700 BC]. After ca. 8,700 cal yr BP, the grain crops began to contain a small quantity of foxtail millet. Our research reveals that the common millet was the earliest dry farming crop in East Asia, which is probably attributed to its excellent resistance to drought.” Lu et al. (2009) PNAS

8 Lu H et al. PNAS 2009;106:

9 Peiligang Culture, BC Between 1977 and 1979, two hectare site of Peiligang composed of a dwelling area and a graveyard. Most houses are semi-subterranean buildings, with kitchen areas and kiln-fired pottery (like Cishan site) 116 burials arranged into three clusters that might be clan groups Like Cishan site, many polished stone spades and other agricultural tools

10 Peiligang Culture

11 Over 70 sites have been identified associated with the Peiligang culture.
Likely egalitarian: socio-political organization based on age, gender, and achievement. Cultivation of millet and raising pigs. Early Neolithic pottery. Jiahu among earliest Peiligang sites.

12 Jiahu Three distinct phases: oldest from 7000 to 6600 BC; middle from 6600 to 6200 BC; and last from 6200 to 5800 BC. Early phase is unique, but latter two are affiliated with Peiligang culture; Cultivated millet and rice. Millet cultivation common in Peiligang culture, rice cultivation is unique at Jiahu; Over 300 burials accompanied by offerings: Playable tonal flutes; Some of the oldest Neolithic pottery; Chemical analysis on jars yielded evidence of alcohol fermented from rice, honey and hawthorn (feasting?); Markings on tortoise shells (9) and bone (2): proto-writing? Some of the markings are similar to characters common to later societies along the Yellow River.

13 Houli, Lower Yellow River
Houli culture, BC Round/square, semi-subterranean houses Domesticated dogs and pigs Evidence of early rice cultivation in the Yellow River basin from carbonized rice.

14 Dadiwan, Western Yellow River
Basic similarities in pottery (cord marked), architecture (round houses), and site plan (scattered dwellings) with other “pre-Yangshao” Neolithic complexes of the Yellow River (Cishan, Peiligang, and Houli); Dadiwan site: pre-Yangshao farming communities begin ca BC (some carbonized millet) followed by later Neolithic Yangshao village ca BC.


16 Yangshao Culture, ca. 5000 BC Large Agricultural Villages

17 Banbo (Ban-po-ts'un) 5,000-4,000 BC, Banpo was a permanent village of about 500 people Remains of 45 houses, 2 stables, more than 200 cellars, 6 kilns, and about 250 graves. Round and square houses made with thatch over wood beams; floors were sunk up to a meter into the ground with a central hearth. Food was stored in underground pits. Trench around complex both for protection and for drainage. Large meeting hall in the center of the village and a place for central storage (ritual feasting?). Some of the pottery items have marks scratched on them that may anticipate writing. Specialized pots for drinking, storage, cooking, and burial.

18 Jiangzhai settlement (Shi 2001:62)
     One of the few Yangshao settlements extensively excavated.

19 Dawenkou culture ( BC), lower Yellow River, overlapped in time with Yangshao culture; precursor of Longshan (discussed in later class).  Over 100 tombs in rectangular pit-graves, most oriented with head toward the east; many bodies with deer teeth in their hands.    Late Dawenkou culture shows more social differentiation than earlier cultures along Yellow River.  Most tombs had objects, some had only one or two, and the richest burials had 50 or more (up to 180+).  In the larger tombs coffins were placed inside wooden chambers.  Larger graves with more goods separated from those with less.  Differences interpreted as evidence of rank?

20 Neolithic Cultures of China
Yellow River 6500–4500 BC: Peiligang, middle Yellow River BC: Houli, lower Yellow River 5900–5300 BC: Dadiwan, mid-upper Yellow R. 5000–3000 BC: Yangshao, middleYellow River BC: Dawenko, lower Yellow River 6500–5000 BC: Pengtoushan, middle Yangzi R. 5000–4000 BC: Hemudu, lower Yangzi River 4500–3300 BC: Daxi (3 Gorges) middle Yangzi Yangzi River

21 Transition from Wild to Cultivated Rice, 8000-6000 BC
Chinese Late Paleolithic cave sites such as Yuchan are rich in terrestrial and aquatic fauna, including deer, boar, birds, tortoises, fish, and various small mammals. Rice phytoliths and husks have been identified at several cave sites (Xianrendong, Diaotonghuan, and Yuchan) suggest an incipient stage of cultivation. These plant remains and early pottery suggest that caves are predecessors of the early Holocene open-air Neolithic villages found in the alluvial plain of the Yangzi River (Pengtoushan Culture). See Boaretto et al. (2009), PNAS

22 Archaeological sites with evidence of early plant or animal domestication:
(1) Dadiwan. (2) Baijia. (3) Jiahu. (4) Peiligang. (5) Cishan. (6) Yuezhuang. (7) Nanzhuangtou. (8) Xinglongwa. (9) Diaotonghuan/Xianrendong. (10) Kuahuqiao. (Barton et al. (2009) PNAS)

23 Yuchan Cave, Hunan Province
Late Paleolithic foragers' camp. Dates range from 21,000 to 13,800 cal BP (19-11,800 BC) Pottery ranges between 18,300 and 15,430 cal BP, earliest evidence for pottery making in China (world?). Charcoal closely associated with potsherds dated to 16,700–15,850 cal BP and organic residue from ceramic to 17,750–16,900 cal BP Boaretto et al. (2009), PNAS

24 Pengtoushan, BC Pengtoushan culture, roughly contemporaneous with Peiligang culture to north. Primary examples: Pengtoushan site and the later Bashidang site ( BC). Pengtoushan site is among earliest permanently settled villages in China. It was excavated in 1988, but difficult to date accurately, with a large variability in dates ranging from 9000 BC to 5500 BC. Excavations revealed four houses and 19 burials, some with grave goods, including cord-marked pots; One large house and several small ones may show institutional social inequality (rank). Analysis of rice residues C14 dated to BC show possible early that domesticated rice; size of the Pengtoushan rice was larger than the size of naturally-occurring wild rice. Although not found at Pengtoushan, rice-cultivating tools were found at Bashidang ( BC), a large site (3 ha/7.5 acres), with early domesticated rice and possible raised houses.

25 Daxi, Middle Yangzi The Daxi culture (5000 BC BC), middle Yangtze River, China (Three Gorges Dam). Daxi sites are typified by the presence of cylindrical bottles, white pan plates, and red pottery. Daxi people cultivated rice extensively. Daxi sites were some of the earliest in China to show evidence of moats and walled settlements.

26 Hemudu, Lower Yangzi 5,000-3,000 BC Bovid shoulder blade spades
Wooden oars, net sinkers, fishing spears Whales and sharks Advanced weaving technology Population of many hundreds to low thousands Nearby Shangshan site provides possible evidence of early domesticated rice, with permanent houses and ceramics (tempered with rice husks): BC

27 Hemudu: large, stout, elevated houses (23x7m)

28 From hoes to animal power
terraces Intensification of wet rice agriculture paddies From hoes to animal power FOOD, FOOD, AND MORE FOOD: INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE IS/WAS ECONOMIC BASE OF VIRTUALLY ALL MAJOR CIVILIZATIONS

29 Map Source: Higham's The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (1996)
Rice Agriculture Ban Non Wat


31 Southeast Asia Spirit Cave (9, BC), NW Thailand; (Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers); exploitation of wide variety of wild plants, many that are later domesticated (by 5,500 BC ceramics and possible early domesticates) Non Nok Tha, Ban Kao, Ban Non Wat; early evidence of established rice agricultural villages, ca. 2, BC in SE Asia Spirit Cave

32 domestic pigs and rice; Interaction between intrusive
Ban Non Wat, by 1750 BC domestic pigs and rice; Interaction between intrusive farmers and local foragers Charles Higham

33 Neolithic cemetery (1500-1450 BC)
Bronze age burials Neolithic cemetery ( BC) Ban Non Wat, 635 burials (1750 BC – AD 250)

34 Khok Phanom Di, Thailand
BC: five mortuary phases: 1-2 settled marine foragers, followed by rice cultivation (3-4), and then (5) return to marine foraging, with burials laid out in family groups (lineages) and several “fabulously wealthy” burials Interaction between coastal foragers and inland rice farmers (established upstream by 2000 BC) Sedentism, Agriculture, and Rank The “Princess”: 100,000 shell beads, shell disks, bangle, ear ornaments, and supurb pottery and tools

35 Early Jomon Ceramics (Japan)
Jomon Culture: Coastal Sedentary Hunter-Fisher-Gathers, 14,000 to 300 BC, sites drowned in many areas (not Japan). Very early pottery. Followed by intrusive rice farmers (Yayoi), with larger settled communities, such as Itazuke, which was 100x80 m with moat.

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