The Archaeology of the Early Tibetan Plateau: New Research on the Initial Peopling through the Early Bronze Age

Abstract

Since the last systematic review of Tibetan archaeology in 2004 published in Journal of World Prehistory (Aldenderfer and Zhang 2004), a revival of archaeological research on the plateau has begun to reshape our understanding of key issues such as when the plateau was first permanently occupied by humans, and when and how Tibetans first adopted the farming and pastoral systems that characterize the plateau today. Understanding who the first Tibetans were, and how they adapted to this high-altitude environment, both genetically and culturally, have been central themes of recent research on the plateau. We review these developments and place them into a wider regional framework with a focus on the better-known eastern Tibetan Plateau.

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Acknowledgments

Jade d’Alpoim Guedes is grateful to the funding provided by the Chiang Jing Kuo Foundation, which supported her during the time this article was written.

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d’Alpoim Guedes, J., Aldenderfer, M. The Archaeology of the Early Tibetan Plateau: New Research on the Initial Peopling through the Early Bronze Age. J Archaeol Res 28, 339–392 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10814-019-09137-6

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Keywords

  • Tibetan Plateau
  • Archaeology
  • Domestication
  • Genetics