Archaeobotanical and GIS-based approaches to prehistoric agriculture in the upper Ying valley, Henan, China
Zhang, H.; Bevan, A.; Fuller, D.; Fang, Y.M.
Journal of Archaeological Science 37(7): 1480-1489
Archaeobotanical survey has sampled a series of late Neolithic to early Bronze Age settlements in the upper Ying valley (part of the central plain of China) and provided useful data for understanding prehistoric arable ecology and farming during a period of increasing local social complexity. A combination of the modelling functions offered by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the data reduction possibilities offered by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) allow us to explore possible relationships between local arable ecology, crop-processing strategies and the natural environment. The results should be treated cautiously given the size of the analytical sample but suggest that differences in the natural environment around each site may explain varying patterns of wild food collection, while social and cultural factors may better explain variation in farming practice and crop-processing at different sites.