PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 12-18.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2008.05.002

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Holocene Environmental Change and Its Impacts on Cultur al Development in the Weihe Basin

ZHOU Qunying1, HUANG Chunchang2   

  1. 1. Humanism and Environment Department, Shaanxi Institute of Education, Xi'an 710061, China;
    2. College of Tourism and Environmental, Center for Historical Environment and Socio- Economic Development in Northwest China, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2008-02-01 Revised:2008-08-01 Online:2008-09-25 Published:2008-09-25


The Holocene climate experienced several widespread high - amplitude and long - duration change. While at about the same time, ancient societies also witnessed several stages of rise and fall. This paper through combining experimental data of environmental evolution with high resolution historical data, it is showed that some coupling relationships exist between evolution of human culture and evolution of soil formation in the Weihe valley during Holocene. During 8500 - 3100 aB.P., with advantageous water, soil and organisms resources, the Dadiwan culture, the Yangshao culture, the Longshan culture and the Xiashang culture developed, original settling- down dry farming culture formed gradually, which laid sound foundation for agriculture civilization in the Weihe valley; Among which, land use of arable farming was replaced largely by pastoral farming in the mixed area of agriculture and animal husbandry in north Weihe region between 4000- 3000 aB.P., because of dry and cold weather resulted in environment deterioration and soil degradation. At the beginning of 3100 aB.P., as the climate has become dry, and dust storms and dust - fall occurred frequently in the whole Weihe valley, the recent loess (L0) has begun to accumulate and gradually covered the mid - Holocene soil (S0). The change from soil formation to loess accumulation indicates environment deterioration and soil degradation. Degeneracy of water, soil and organism has shaken the economic foundations of dry agriculture and nomadic industry and affected the social development of Xian Zhou and Western Zhou Dynasty.

Key words: cultural development, environmental change, Holocene, Weihe Basin