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Agricultural Trajectories in Yunnan, Southwest China: a comparative analysis of archaeobotanical remains from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age

Dal Martello, Rita; (2020) Agricultural Trajectories in Yunnan, Southwest China: a comparative analysis of archaeobotanical remains from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation investigates the emergence and development of agricultural practices in the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan, between the 3rd and 1st millennia BC. Drawing from previously unstudied archaeobotanical remains from the sites of Baiyangcun, Haimenkou, and Dayingzhuang; this research analyses compositional and chronological changes in the crop assemblage from each site. These sites are located in the strategic region of sanjiang, at the crossroads of three main Asian rivers: Yangzi, Mekong, and Salween. Local and regional developments of agricultural systems are explored through the comparison of these new material with other published datasets from Yunnan, the surrounding provinces of Sichuan, Tibet, Chongqing, Guangxi, and mainland Southeast Asian countries. The main research questions addressed in this dissertation are: -What was the basis of early agriculture in Yunnan? -Given that the first attested agricultural systems in Southwest China appear 3000 to 2000-years later than those associated with domestication centres in North China and along the Yangzi River, to what extent can agricultural practices in Yunnan be derived entirely from migrating farmers, or did adoption (acculturation) by local forager populations play a role? -What role did native wild plants play in Yunnan Neolithic and Post-Neolithic subsistence, and were there any local processes of domestication underway? -With regards to rice, what was the ecology of rice cultivation? Did this differ either from source regions along the Yangzi, or from the early systems in Southeast Asia, which have sometimes been suggested to have origins in Yunnan? The results contained in this thesis provide archaeological evidence that was until now lacking to evaluate the validity of the language/farming dispersal hypothesis in the context of the Austroasiatic languages dispersal, as well as laying an important archaeological and chronological framework for studying of the emergence of a settled agricultural lifestyle in Yunnan.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Agricultural Trajectories in Yunnan, Southwest China: a comparative analysis of archaeobotanical remains from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094355
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