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Frontiers of Colonialism$
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Christine D. Beaule

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054346

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054346.001.0001

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Population Migrations, Colonization, and Social Changes in the Late Prehistoric Lower Yangtze River

Population Migrations, Colonization, and Social Changes in the Late Prehistoric Lower Yangtze River

Chapter:
(p.236) 9 Population Migrations, Colonization, and Social Changes in the Late Prehistoric Lower Yangtze River
Source:
Frontiers of Colonialism
Author(s):

Tianlong Jiao

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813054346.003.0009

This chapter presents a case study that challenges commonly used approaches in Chinese archaeology to population migration, diffusion, colonization, and material culture change. The dramatic decline of the Liangzhu culture in the Lower Yangtze River Delta around 2000 BC has been extensively investigated. Environmental disasters such as rising sea-level and flooding were suggested by some as the main factors, while others highlighted internal social conflicts or the exhaustive use of jades as the responsible forces. This chapter instead argues that the decline of Liangzhu culture was a dynamic process in which waves of population migrations from the Guangfulin culture in the north was the primary cause. These migrants were organized colonizers who were forced to expand southward by violent conflicts in the Central Plain. Archaeological data suggest the Guangfulin conquered the Liangzhu land and restructured the cultural landscape of the Lower Yangtze River Delta.

Keywords:   China, population migration, colonization, Liangzhu, Guangfulin, Yangtze River

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