Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 103–160

Current issues in Chinese Neolithic archaeology

  • Anne P. Underhill

DOI: 10.1007/BF02221203

Cite this article as:
Underhill, A.P. J World Prehist (1997) 11: 103. doi:10.1007/BF02221203


Every year archaeologists in China discover numerous rich sites demonstrating significant regional variability in Neolithic cultures, primarily from about 6500 B.C. to 1900 B.C. This paper discusses a topic not covered in detail in current or forthcoming publications, the origins and development of agricultural systems. Recent fieldwork in both northern and southern China suggests that initial steps toward settled agricultural villages began circa 11,000 B.P. I review evidence for the cultivation of millet, rice, and other plants as well as animal husbandry in different regions of China. There are several later Neolithic sites in northern China with evidence for rice cultivation. I suggest how future research projects can investigate regional variation and change over time in subsistence and settlement during the Neolithic Period.

Key words

China Neolithic food production agricultural origins 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne P. Underhill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyYale UniversityNew Haven

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