Human–environment interactions in the development of early Chinese civilization
George Rapp, Zhichun Jing, 2011. "Human–environment interactions in the development of early Chinese civilization", Human Interactions with the Geosphere: The Geoarchaeological Perspective, L. Wilson
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Beginning with the earliest organized habitation sites the options provided by the regional environment have largely or partially governed the location and relocation of human settlements. The settlement system in second millennium BCE Henan Province, China, evolved during a period of significant climatic change and shifting river courses but relative soil stability. Human–environment interactions across the landscape have left ample remains for investigation by scholars of social and cultural change and by natural scientists. The social effects of climate and geomorphological change during this period are complex and only partially understood. It is well documented that long-term soil stability before and during the second millennium BCE gave rise to the development of good agricultural soils, without which population expansion probably could not have taken place. This paper summarizes some of the recent research in climate change and, from two of our own projects, in geomorphology and ecology that underlie environmental impacts on the evolving state-level societies, especially related to settlement location and relocation. For example, the Shang possibly relocated one or more capital sites in response to disastrous floods.