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Emergence of civilisation, changes in fluvio-deltaic style and nutrient redistribution forced by Holocene sea-level rise

Emergence of civilisation, changes in fluvio-deltaic style and nutrient redistribution forced by Holocene sea-level rise
Emergence of civilisation, changes in fluvio-deltaic style and nutrient redistribution forced by Holocene sea-level rise
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.
0883-6353
194-210
Pennington, Ben
e4bbad98-914c-4e9b-958d-54f5f87422b2
Bunbury, Judith
3038e131-4e8b-4b19-97b1-fa532d73d217
Hovius, Niels
136cb72c-ac7d-43bc-beb4-719c05e09806
Pennington, Ben
e4bbad98-914c-4e9b-958d-54f5f87422b2
Bunbury, Judith
3038e131-4e8b-4b19-97b1-fa532d73d217
Hovius, Niels
136cb72c-ac7d-43bc-beb4-719c05e09806

Pennington, Ben, Bunbury, Judith and Hovius, Niels (2016) Emergence of civilisation, changes in fluvio-deltaic style and nutrient redistribution forced by Holocene sea-level rise. Geoarchaeology, 31 (3), 194-210. (doi:10.1002/gea.21539).

Record type: Article

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.

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Emergence of civilisation, changes in fluvio-deltaic style and nutrient redistribution forced by Holocene sea-level rise - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 12 August 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 April 2016
Published date: May 2016
Organisations: Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 407647
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407647
ISSN: 0883-6353
PURE UUID: fab7f2d8-63d3-4f43-9fb7-a42704a03267
ORCID for Ben Pennington: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9969-8140

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Date deposited: 16 Apr 2017 17:09
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 06:16

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