Skip to main content
Ref ID: 27832
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sung-Mo Ahn,
Jangsuk Kim,
Jaehoon Hwang,
Title: Sedentism, settlements, and radiocarbon dates of neolithic Korea
Date: 2016
Source: Asian Perspectives (2015)
DOI: 10.1353/asi.2015.0005
Abstract: There are two conflicting models regarding the role of the Neolithic millet cultivation in the appearance of the Bronze Age farming economy in South Korea. The “continuity model” suggests that the emergence of a farming economy was a consequence of increasing sedentism, and that millet cultivation practiced during the Neolithic played a significant role in the transition to the Bronze Age. On the contrary, the “discontinuity model” suggests that the appearance of the Bronze Age farming economy heavily dependent on rice had little to do with previous millet cultivation in the Neolithic and the degree of sedentism during the latest Neolithic was very low. We test these models by looking into a temporal variation of sedentism, by quantitatively analyzing the quantity of pit houses and settlements based on relative chronology and radiocarbon dates. Sedentary settlements with small-scale millet cultivation appeared in the central-western Korea during the early fourth millennium B.C. They increased sharply during the late fourth millennium B.C. and also appeared in central-eastern and southern Korea, but they almost disappeared in central and southern Korea from the late third millennium B.C., suggesting a return to increased mobility and/or sharp decrease in population. Hence a continuity model for the emergence of a farming economy cannot be accepted. We suggest environmental deterioration as a prime mover for both the appearance of millet cultivation during the fourth millennium B.C. and the disappearance of sedentary settlement from the late third millennium B.C. in Korea.
Date Created: 2/2/2016
Volume: 54
Number: 1
Page Start: 113
Page End: 143