Advances in Earth Science ›› 2005, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (2): 231-239. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2005.02.0231

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YANG Xiaoyan 1,2;XIA Zhengkai 2;CUI Zhijiu 2   

  1. 1.Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100029, China; 2.College of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2003-12-21 Revised:2004-06-03 Online:2005-02-25 Published:2005-02-25

YANG Xiaoyan;XIA Zhengkai;CUI Zhijiu. APPLICATIONS OF QUATERNARY SCIENCES TO ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2005, 20(2): 231-239.

Since the Quaternary Period covers the overall human cultural history, the applications of Quaternary sciences to environmental archaeology become the main study aspect. Quaternary sciences mainly affords three aspects in Environmental Archaeology. (1) Reconstructing the local landscapes and environments change during the past around the site; (2) Exploring the depositional and post-depositional processes that form and shape site, in other words, looking for the reason why the site was selected and abandoned where it situated; (3) Studying of special archaeological fields, such as the agricultural archaeology, the origin of human, and so on. As to the applications of Quaternary sciences to environmental archaeology, this paper touts the approach of the study on the scales. Scales are divided into four grades and each grade is studied by different method. As to the small scale, subject study is proposed, and the medium scale, the large scale, and the huge scale are carried out through the method of comparative study. The study on the higher-grade scale is based on the study on the lower-grade one. The study on the lower-grade scale is the base of the higher-grade scale, providing the accumulative study materials and evidences for the study on the high-grade scale. The areas of study are either small or large. It is determined by the research subject. But in any case which subject is studied, it must begin with a site. The applications of Quaternary Sciences to the environmental archaeology are a promising field at present in China. But the further development of the environmental archaeology requires the better cooperation between geoscientists and archaeologists and the better communication between geosciences and archaeology. The development of the Environmental Archaeology is in the state of accumulating materials in China now. We should develop this interdiscipline step by step and make steady progress.

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