Climate and Environmental Change

Impact of Holocene environmental change on temporal-spatial distribution of Neolithic sites in Huaihe River Basin, Anhui Province

  • 1. Department of Urban and Resources Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China|
    2. Department of Urban Construction and Environmental Science, Wanxi College, Lu’an 237012, China

Received date: 2005-08-09

  Revised date: 2005-11-03

  Online published: 2006-06-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40271103; Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Provincial Education Department, No.2005KJ202/021


The Huaihe River basin of Anhui is not only a transitional zone of physical geography, but also a convergent area of many cultures in China. It is one of the sensitive ecotones to global changes and the birthplace of Chinese civilization. Using the field archaeological data and the sporo-pollens and the age data of the drilling cores, we analysed Neolithic cultural development and environmental evolution in the Huaihe River basin of Anhui. According to the combination of some research results in archaeology with environmental evolution research, this paper discusses the relationship between culture and environment in the Huaihe River basin of Anhui. The Neolithic cultural development was strongly impacted by the environmental change. The primitive culture (Shishanzi) was developed in the beginning of the Holocene Megathermal Period with distinct regional feature of the culture. From 6.5 kaBP to 5.5 kaBP, the climate changed warmer and wetter. The frequent occurrence of flood and waterlog due to such a climate regime and high sea level caused the earth’s surface environment deteriorated in the Huaihe River basin of Anhui and the interruption of the Neolithic cultural development, hence a lack of archaeological sites. From 5.5 kaBP to 4.0 kaBP, the climate changed from wet to dry, the natural environment was propitious to human survival. Dawenkou Culture and Longshan Culture flourished in this period. The Neolithic cultural development, the number of the sites and their distribution characteristics of the sites in the study area differed apparently from those in Central China and Shandong Province.

Cite this article

HUANG Run, ZHU Cheng, GUAN Yong, ZHENG Chaogui . Impact of Holocene environmental change on temporal-spatial distribution of Neolithic sites in Huaihe River Basin, Anhui Province[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2006 , 16(2) : 199 -208 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-006-0208-x