The Origins of Sedentism and Agriculture in Early China

Chinese Archaeology Conference

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Stanford Archaeology Center and Confucius Institute of EALC at Stanford University, and co-organized by Stanford University, Institute of Archaeology, CASS, and Peking University

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Sedentari­zation and the appearance of agriculture are two of the most momentous evolutionary steps towards the emergence of complex societies in human history. These two developments, together with pottery and polished stone tools, have been generally regarded as part of Neolithization. However, recent studies from many regions in the world have shown that the beginnings of sedentariness and the emergence of food production did not always coincide. On the one hand, sedentism could be practiced in non-agricultural societies; on the other hand, the progress from low-level food production to agriculture may have taken many millennia, during which domesticates did not play an important role in subsistence strategies. In Chinese archaeological research, the origins of cereal and animal domestication have long been emphasized, but much less attention has been paid to sedentism. In this workshop we intend to investigate the evidence from interdisciplinary perspectives for understanding the initial transition from mobile hunter-gatherer lifeways to sedentism, the development and various formulations of sedentism, the emergence of plant/animal domestication, and the relationships between sedentarization and food production in China.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | 9:00 am — 6:00 pm
Building 500, Archaeology Center

Archaeology Center
The Confucius Institute at Stanford