PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (8): 1286-1295.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.08.012

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review on prehistoric settlement geography research

LU Peng1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geography, Henan Academy of Sciences, Zhengzhou 450052, China;
    2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2012-12-01 Revised:2013-04-01 Online:2013-08-25 Published:2013-08-25

Abstract: Prehistoric settlement geography is a research field whose research object is geographic phenomenon of prehistoric settlement. It grows with the development of modern archaeology and its increasing interests in prehistoric environment and society. Its goal is to explore spatio-temporal distribution pattern of prehistoric settlements and the mechanism behind it in order to understand the prehistoric human-land relationship. In this paper, main contents and characteristics of prehistoric settlement geography research were introduced first. Then, based on a great number of related papers, the current status of domestic research of prehistoric settlement geography was reviewed. Finally, remaining issues and future research directions were discussed. Domestic research of prehistoric settlement geography has mainly focused on the distribution of prehistoric settlements, settlement site selection, settlement evolution, the relationship between regional environment and the settlements, the relationship between the settlements and cultural factors, interrelations among the settlements, exploration of related technologies and methods, etc. A series of related researches have been carried out in different areas, which not only reflected the regional differences of prehistoric settlement patterns and formation mechanisms, but also promoted the development of environmental archaeology, geography, settlement archaeology and related technologies. The remaining issues of the research of prehistoric settlement geography are as follows: loose connections to other disciplines, biased interpretations by single-factored models, incomplete framework of theory and methodology, etc. And it is necessary to carry out high spatio-temporal resolution research in relatively small areas. As a multidisciplinary cross-over study, prehistoric settlement geography needs participations of geography, archaeology, Quaternary environment and other related disciplines, while keeping human-land relationship research as the main focus. Only in this way will it achieve great progress and development.

Key words: prehistoric periods, review, settlement geography