The transition to the Upper Xijiadian period (1200–600BCE) in north-east China is often connected with the decline of agricultural settled life and the adoption of mobile pastoralism. Many see a deterioration of climatic circumstances as the reason for this change, while others have argued that this model is an oversimplification of the intricate socio-economic dynamics of the time. The extent and manner in which pastoralism was incorporated into the economy is still a matter of debate. This paper presents the results of the analysis conducted on grave location preference in the landscape, using data collected by the Chifeng international collaborative survey project. I argue that burial landscapes provide important insights into the discussion on Upper Xiajiadian pastoralism, both economically and symbolically. Based on these results, I suggest that mortuary practices may have reinforced the desire to practice pastoralism as an initially secondary economic strategy.
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- Bronze Age China
- mortuary analysis
- social identity
- spatial analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences