A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Ancient Agricultural Fields at Sanyangzhuang Site, Henan Province, China

Author(s): Zhen Qin

Year: 2015


Over the last 10,000 years, agriculture has gradually replaced hunting and gathering, and become the dominant food resource. Because of their extreme importance agricultural issues have attracted much academic attention; a wide variety of new perspectives and understandings, especially concerning agricultural origins, have been gained in the past few decades. However, there is a huge intellectual gap between the extensive agriculture soon after the earliest domestication and intensive agriculture practiced by early states. How was the gap bridged? What resources were invested to intensify food production? Questions concerning agricultural intensification have been attracting but also puzzling anthropologists and archaeologists for a long time.

Field management technique is one of the most significant aspects of agricultural intensification. This paper presents the result of the geoarchaeological surveys at the Sanyangzhuang site in recent years, and explores the development of the field management techniques on the basis of micromorphological and geochemical analyses of soil samples from the site. Plowing, manuring, and irrigation are focused. By doing that, the outline of the trajectory of agricultural intensification from the late Neolithic Age to the early Iron Age in the local scale will be depicted.

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Cite this Record

A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Ancient Agricultural Fields at Sanyangzhuang Site, Henan Province, China. Zhen Qin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395639)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;