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A STUDY OF LAND-USE ACROSS THE TRANSITION TO AGRICULTURE IN THE NORTHERN YINSHAN MOUNTAIN REGION AT THE EDGE OF SOUTHERN MONGOLIA STEPPE ZONE OF ULANQAB, CHINA

Zhao, Chao (2020) A STUDY OF LAND-USE ACROSS THE TRANSITION TO AGRICULTURE IN THE NORTHERN YINSHAN MOUNTAIN REGION AT THE EDGE OF SOUTHERN MONGOLIA STEPPE ZONE OF ULANQAB, CHINA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Through an examination of subsistence, mobility, and social integration, this dissertation explores how human use of the steppe zone of the Northern Yinshan Mountain region of Ulanqab, China changed from the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The results described herein contribute to our understanding of how people adapted to steppe environments prior to the emergence of a specialized herding economy, at a time when people in many other parts of northern China were shifting to an economy dominated by agricultural products and practices.

The analyses herein rely on data from excavated and surveyed archaeological sites in Huade County, Inner Mongolia, China, focusing on lithic assemblages and site distributions complemented by evidence such as ceramics, faunal and floral remains, and architecture. The results indicate that people in this region relied on a mixed economy of foraging and farming with the latter playing only a supplementary role in the total subsistence strategy. Though people depended heavily on wild resources throughout this period, their use of different parts of the landscape changed due in part to an increasing emphasis on animal resources during the Mid-Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Though not fully sedentary, people reduced their mobility and aggregated in larger social groups from Early Neolithic period, but without pronounced development of economic specialization or social differentiation. No dramatic increase or decrease of mobility, or significant development of social complexity can be detected in the latter Mid-Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age.

Environmental constraints, rather than a lack of cultural preparedness or motivation, likely explain why intensive agricultural production failed to thrive in the Northern Yinshan Mountain region during the early and middle Holocene. Expanding the scale of farming is simply too risky in such a marginal environment. A mixed economy, particularly one increasingly focused on animal products however, provided a more optimal solution to the challenges of the local environment across the spectrum of Holocene climatic change.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zhao, Chaochz63@pitt.educhz63
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairDrennan, Robertdrennan@protonmail.com
Committee CoChairBarton, Loukasloukasbarton@gmail.com
Committee MemberBermann, Marcbermarc@pitt.edu
Committee MemberTurcotte, Martinturcotte@pitt.edu
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 April 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 12 June 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 294
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Land-use; Subsistence; North Yinshan Mountain; Mongolian Steppe; Prehistory;Transition to Agriculture, Lithics, Spatial distribution
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 15:39
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 15:39
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/39319

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  • A STUDY OF LAND-USE ACROSS THE TRANSITION TO AGRICULTURE IN THE NORTHERN YINSHAN MOUNTAIN REGION AT THE EDGE OF SOUTHERN MONGOLIA STEPPE ZONE OF ULANQAB, CHINA. (deposited 16 Sep 2020 15:39) [Currently Displayed]

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