Abstract

This paper examines the progress and remaining problems on the occurrence of cereal cultivation in China, which led to agriculture, and discusses some related theoretical issues. Based on currently available data, it is argued that the occurrence of cereal cultivation in China was associated with and related to the climatic and environmental changes after the last glacial epoch, the occurrence of new technology, including the manufacturing of pottery, and the adoption of a broad-spectrum subsistence strategy, whereas sedentism does not seem to be a prerequisite for this cultural change. The transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture in China seems to have been a gradual process, and foraging remained a subsistence strategy of the early farmers. The occurrence of cereal cultivation in China differed from that in other core areas, demonstrating the diversity of human cultures and contributing to our understanding of the origin and development of agriculture in the world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 129-158
Launched on MUSE
2006-10-04
Open Access
No
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