PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2011, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 121-128.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2011.01.015

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

Culture Development and Sea-Level Change during Liangzhu Period

ZHU Lidong, FENG Yixiong, YEWei, WANG Tianyang, LI Fengquan, LI Lixia   

  1. Geography Process Lab, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2010-03-01 Revised:2010-07-01 Online:2011-01-25 Published:2011-01-25

Abstract: The comparison of archaeological records with that of sea-level changes in the Zhejiang-Shanghai-Jiangsu region shows that there is a close connection between the Liangzhu culture development and sea-level changes during 5.5-4 ka BP. During 5.5-4.9 ka BP, the sea-level of the Zhejiang-Shanghai-Jiangsu area declined by about 3.9 m, providing more space for humankind. Together with warm climate, the space boosted the initial development of Liangzhu culture. The sparse archaeological sites with stilt houses were mostly found on the higher land and the people at that time were engaged in rice planting. During 4.9-4.3 ka BP, the sea level was low and Liangzhu culture was in a period of peak prosperity. The amount of archaeological sites increased significantly, of which the distribution was centralized and in a much larger area. The climate was dry-cool then, and lots of wells were found. People built their houses on land surface. The agriculture and handicraft industries had been developed, and different classes emerged in the society. These indicate that the low sea-level greatly accelerated the prosperity of Liangzhu culture. In 4.3-4 ka BP, the sea level rose again, which reduced the Liangzhu people’s living space, thus relatively narrowed the distribution extent of the culture. In addition, it resulted in fatal floods during the cold event at about 4 ka B.P. People mainly lived in platforms and slope fields. The number of sites was reduced and the environment was worse because of the rising sea-level. As a result, the sea-level changes during 5.3-4.0 ka BP had a significant influence on the Liangzhu culture development.

Key words: Holocene, Liangzhu culture, sea-level change, Zhejiang-Shanghai-Jiangsu region