The USC U.S.-China Institute talks with author David M. Lampton on his new book, which examines China’s effort to create an intercountry railway system connecting China and its seven Southeast Asian neighbors.
The Origins of Sedentism and Agriculture in Early China
Stanford University presents a public talk on food production in China.
Sedentarization and the appearance of agriculture are two of the most momentous evolutionary steps towards the emergence of complex societies in human history. These two developments, together with pottery and polished stone tools, have been generally regarded as part of Neolithization. However, recent studies from many regions in the world have shown that the beginnings of sedentariness and the emergence of food production did not always coincide. On the one hand, sedentism could be practiced in non-agricultural societies; on the other hand, the progress from low-level food production to agriculture may have taken many millennia, during which domesticates did not play an important role in subsistence strategies. In Chinese archaeological research, the origins of cereal and animal domestication have long been emphasized, but much less attention has been paid to sedentism. In this workshop we intend to investigate the evidence from interdisciplinary perspectives for understanding the initial transition from mobile hunter-gatherer lifeways to sedentism, the development and various formulations of sedentism, the emergence of plant/animal domestication, and the relationships between sedentarization and food production in China.