Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (01): 110-121.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0055

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phytolith evidence for the agricultural development during Shuangdun cultural period from the Yuhuicun site, Anhui Province

GU Chunguang1(), LUO Wuhong1(), ZHANG Dong2, YANG Yuzhang1   

  1. 1. Department of the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026
    2. Institute of Archaeological Research, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100710
  • Received:2021-09-03 Revised:2021-12-22 Online:2023-02-15 Published:2023-02-20


The Shuangdun Culture Period (7.3-6.8 kaBP) is the characteristic culture with distinctive local traits and some foreign factors in the middle Huai River valley. It is an important medium to understand the relationship of civilizations between the Huai River and the Yellow River and Yangtze River. At present, although some researches on the plant remains of Shuangdun period have been carried out in the middle Huai River valley, there are still lack of consistent views about agricultural development and its influencing factors. The Yuhuicun site, located in Bengbu City, Anhui Province, was excavated by Institute of Archaeological Research of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences during 2017. The typical traits of objects unearthed from this site belong to the Shuangdun culture, Dawenkou culture and Longshan culture, respectively. Thus, it is an ideal site for studying the prehistorical agriculture development of the middle Huai River valley. Previous studies showed that millet remains have been used by Yuhuicun people during Shuangdun culture period. However, there are still no systematic archaeobotany research in the site. In this paper, phytolith analysis was conducted on 44 soil samples of Shuangdun time for investigating the plant remains from the Yuhuicun site, which is focused on the crop phytolith types, the percentage of sensitive phytolith types and fixed phytolith ones, the morphological characteristics of rice bulliform and double-peaked phytoliths. The results indicate that most samples found from the Yuhuicun site are rice phytoliths, while no millet phytoliths were discovered. According to morphological analyses of rice bulliform and double-peaked phytoliths, the proportion of rice bulliform phytoliths which have equal or more than nine shallow fish-scale decorations is 45.8%±3.03%, and that of domesticated rice double-peaked phytoliths is 48.75%±2.7%, and the proportion of japonica-type rice bulliform phytoliths is 70.82%±4.33%. These data indicate that rice remains from the Yuhuicun site were mainly domesticated japonica-type. The above results demonstrates that rice farming at Yuhuicun have inherited the agricultural tradition which had been found since the Shunshanji culture in the middle Huai River valley. Besides, the ratio of sensitive types and fixed ones in the phytolith assemblages from the Yuhuicun site was 0.7±0.2, suggesting that the water environment for rice cultivation at the site belonged to “upland rainfed” type or “lowland rainfed” type. The findings in this research can provide significant evidence for studying the evolution of Neolithic agricultural development patterns, rice cultivation and domestication and human adaptation strategies under the background of prehistoric climate and cultural changes in Central and East China.

Key words: Yuhuicun, Shuangdun Culture Period, rice, phytolith, agriculture

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