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The Majiayao to Qijia transition: exploring the intersection of technological and social continuity and change

The Majiayao to Qijia transition: exploring the intersection of technological and social... The transition between the Majiayao (5300–4000 BP) and Qijia (4200–3500 BP) “cultures” in what is now northwestern China’s Gansu Province has typically been defined by major technological changes in pottery forms, subsistence practices, and site locations. These changes are thought to have been driven by a combination of climate change induced cooling and drying as well as human migration into the region from areas further east. Based on our review of literature on the topic, as well as recent fieldwork in the northern Tao River Valley, we suggest that the picture is significantly more complex, with some new technologies slowly being experimented with, adopted, or rejected, while many other aspects of production and social organization persisted over hundreds of years. We hypothesize that these changes reflect the active agency of the inhabitants of southern Gansu during the fifth and fourth millennia BP balancing long-standing cultural traditions with influxes of new technologies. Unlike some societies in other regions at this time, however, increasing technological specialization does not appear to have resulted in growing social inequality, but the archaeological material instead reflects increasingly complex heterarchical organization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Archaeology Springer Journals

The Majiayao to Qijia transition: exploring the intersection of technological and social continuity and change

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology (RCCFA), Jilin University and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021
ISSN
2520-8098
eISSN
2520-8101
DOI
10.1007/s41826-021-00041-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The transition between the Majiayao (5300–4000 BP) and Qijia (4200–3500 BP) “cultures” in what is now northwestern China’s Gansu Province has typically been defined by major technological changes in pottery forms, subsistence practices, and site locations. These changes are thought to have been driven by a combination of climate change induced cooling and drying as well as human migration into the region from areas further east. Based on our review of literature on the topic, as well as recent fieldwork in the northern Tao River Valley, we suggest that the picture is significantly more complex, with some new technologies slowly being experimented with, adopted, or rejected, while many other aspects of production and social organization persisted over hundreds of years. We hypothesize that these changes reflect the active agency of the inhabitants of southern Gansu during the fifth and fourth millennia BP balancing long-standing cultural traditions with influxes of new technologies. Unlike some societies in other regions at this time, however, increasing technological specialization does not appear to have resulted in growing social inequality, but the archaeological material instead reflects increasingly complex heterarchical organization.

Journal

Asian ArchaeologySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 11, 2021

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