Climate Change and the Expansion of the Northeast China Culture after 960 BC

Bai Ming [malaleile@yahoo.com.cn] and QuXiang, Tianjin University, China.

            In south-central northeast of China archaeological evidence suggests an acceleration of cultural development and an increase in the density of nomadic populations around 960 BC. We hypothesize a relationship with an abrupt climatic shift towards increased humidity caused by a decline of solar activity. Areas that initially may have been hostile semi-deserts changed into attractive steppe landscapes with a high biomass production and high carrying capacity. Newly available steppe areas could be invaded by herbivores, making them attractive for nomadic tribes. The central Asian horse-riding culture expanded, and an increased population density was a stimulus for westward migration towards southeastern Europe and middle part of China.