The Shangshan Culture and Agricultural Origins

Author(s): Gary Crawford; Leping Jiang

Year: 2018


The Shangshan Culture is among the first in China to be associated with at least one domesticated organism: rice (Oryza sativa). A decade of research on Shangshan is providing critical insight on events leading to Neolithic developments in the Lower Yangtze Valley. So far, some expectations are not yet confirmed: e.g., the Shangshan ancestors developed from a local Palaeolithic population, and the first farming developed in the rich lowlands. Collaborative research is documenting potential evidence of managed and domesticated rice as early as 11,000 BP and certainly by 8,500 BP. Research focuses on understanding the circumstances of Shangshan’s location (upland, intermontane basins), settlement structure, technology, and human-environment interaction. In particular, by 9000-8500 BP sites are relatively large with, at least in some cases, substantial ditches constructed around or through them. The ditches appear to have been an important aspect of the Shangshan niche and they are hypothesized to have played a role in rice’s early association with people.

Cite this Record

The Shangshan Culture and Agricultural Origins. Gary Crawford, Leping Jiang. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445142)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22126