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Abstract

Environmental changes in Pleistocene and the breeding of primitive agriculture in late Paleolithic Age are discussed. Natural environment in China has changed significantly since the Quaternary Period. Under the cold climatic conditions at late Pleistocene, most parts of northern China were not suitable for the growth of millet and other crops preferring warm surroundings. But some microlithic remains in warm zones of southeastern edge of northern China have entered the stage of gathering agriculture, which might become a part of agricultural original zones of millet agriculture. Environmental change and the emergence of dry farming in northern China at early Holocene are analyzed. Early Holocene (about 12 – 8 kaBP) is an unstable heating period. Millet production may be first conducted in the southeast valley of the Loess Plateau, hillside and tableland, valley terraces in Qinling Mountain, mountains in the upper reaches of the Huaihe River, valley and tableland in southern hills of Shandong Province. At the end of early Holocene or middle Holocene, natural conditions has changed in sandy loess zone from eastern Qinghai along the line of mid-eastern Gansu, Ningxia, northern Shaanxi, mid-northern Shanxi, northern Hebei, mid-eastern Inner Mongolia, and mid-western Liaoning, which might be the most important origin of broomcorn millet agriculture.

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