Reconstruction of ancient plant use activities from the last glacial to Middle Neolithic time
China has been geographically divided into South China and North China by Qinling Mountain and Huai River, however, each area has smaller ecological unions which have different natural environment and ethnographic groups. For decades, the plant utilization history of ancient occupants in South China has been on the hot debate, especially for the issues of original agriculture. In our project, plant microfossil analysis will be applied to some main prehistoric sites in Yun-Gui Plateau, southern subtropical area and eastern coastal area in China, aiming at reconstruction of ancient plant use activities, including gathering selection, processing and storage, from the last glacial to Middle Neolithic time. And thus discuss the differences of these activities among these three areas, especially in terms of the original agriculture. With these studies, the models of agriculture origin and development in different areas of South China could be built chronologically; more solid evidence of original toot/tuber cultivation activities could be acquired. With the integration of chronology, prehistoric archaeology, physical anthropology, etc, our project sets up the goal of pursuing the whole scenario of agriculture origins in South China.