Emergence of Civilization, Changes in Fluvio-Deltaic Style, and Nutrient Redistribution Forced by Holocene Sea-Level Rise

Pennington, Benjamin T. and Bunbury, Judith and Hovius, Niels (2016) Emergence of Civilization, Changes in Fluvio-Deltaic Style, and Nutrient Redistribution Forced by Holocene Sea-Level Rise. Geoarchaeology, 31 (3). pp. 194-210. ISSN 0883-6353 DOI 10.1002/gea.21539

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1002/gea.21539

Abstract

During the mid-Holocene, the first large-scale civilizations emerged in lower alluvial systems after a marked decrease in sea-level rise at 7–6 kyr. We show that as the landscapes of deltas and lower alluvial plains adjusted to this decrease in the rate of relative sea-level rise, the abundance and location of resources available for human exploitation changed as did the network of waterways. This dynamic environmental evolution contributed to archaeological changes in the three fluvio-deltaic settings considered herein: Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Huang He in China. Specifically, an increase in the scale and intensity of agricultural practice, and the focussing of power toward a single city can be interpreted as responses to these environmental changes. Other archaeological observations, and the cultural trajectories leading to the formation of the Primary States also need to be considered in light of these evolving landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2015AREP; IA70
Subjects: 99 - Other
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
06 - Part-III Projects
Journal or Publication Title: Geoarchaeology
Volume: 31
Page Range: pp. 194-210
Identification Number: 10.1002/gea.21539
Depositing User: Library Administrator
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 17:27
Last Modified: 10 May 2016 17:27
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3659

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