Arid
DOI10.1177/0959683611405234
New evidence of agricultural activity and environmental change associated with the ancient Loulan kingdom, China, around 1500 years ago
Qin, Xiaoguang1; Liu, Jiaqi1; Jia, Hongjuan1; Lu, Houyuan1; Xia, Xuncheng2; Zhou, Liping3; Mu, Guijin2; Xu, Qinghai4; Jiao, Yinxin5
Corresponding AuthorQin, Xiaoguang
JournalHOLOCENE
ISSN0959-6836
Year Published2012
Volume22Issue:1Pages:53-61
Abstract in English

The ancient kingdom of Loulan on China’s Silk Road has disappeared for about 1500 years. Historical records have documented widespread cultivation in Loulan which supported the kingdom’s prosperity for hundreds of years. However, no farmland ruins have been found although the ancient Loulan city was discovered more than 100 years ago. In this study, remotely sensed, geomorphic and geological observations of possible farmlands in Loulan were analyzed. A wide distribution of partly preserved plots with recognizable regular and straight boundaries, the existence of crossed canals, the occurrence of a gypseous incrustation layer (GIL) overlying on the surface of farmland-like blocks, and extracted large-sized pollen grains of cultivated grass from GIL samples provide new evidence for the ancient farmlands. Field observations revealed that the upper cultivated soil layer overlaid on GIL, i.e. soil horizon A, had been wind-eroded and GIL is the ruined soil horizon B. These new findings point to a well-developed agriculture of the ancient Loulan kingdom. The size and distribution of the farmlands and the thickness of the GIL suggests that irrigation for cultivation in this currently exceedingly arid area had lasted for a long time. Fluvial and lacustrine sediments in Loulan area deposited during the about 4 to similar to 8 ka BP period, revealing that the wet Holocene optimum and two arid events of about 4 and 8 ka BP occurred in the westerlies-dominated northwest China. The Loulan kingdom period was another wet stage when the ecological environment was the typical cultivated grass of oasis near wetland. The insufficiency of water during the late period of the Loulan kingdom led the decline of irrigation agriculture and finally the renunciation of the kingdom.


Keyword in Englishancient Loulan cultivation large sized pollen Lop Nur of Xinjiang paleoclimate ruined farmland
SubtypeArticle
Language英语
CountryPeoples R China
Indexed BySCI-E
WOS IDWOS:000298353900006
WOS KeywordPOLLEN
WOS SubjectGeography, Physical ; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
WOS Research AreaPhysical Geography ; Geology
Source Institution中国科学院新疆生态与地理研究所 ; 北京大学 ; 中国科学院地质与地球物理研究所
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://119.78.100.177/qdio/handle/2XILL650/172700
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geol & Geophys, Key Lab Cenozo Geol & Environm, Beijing 100029, Peoples R China;
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Xinjiang Inst Ecol & Geog, Beijing 100029, Peoples R China;
3.Peking Univ, Beijing, Peoples R China;
4.Heibei Normal Univ, Shijiazhuang, Peoples R China;
5.Ruoqiang Inst Management Cultural Rel, Ruoqiang, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Qin, Xiaoguang,Liu, Jiaqi,Jia, Hongjuan,et al. New evidence of agricultural activity and environmental change associated with the ancient Loulan kingdom, China, around 1500 years ago[J]. 中国科学院新疆生态与地理研究所, 北京大学, 中国科学院地质与地球物理研究所,2012,22(1):53-61.
APA Qin, Xiaoguang.,Liu, Jiaqi.,Jia, Hongjuan.,Lu, Houyuan.,Xia, Xuncheng.,...&Jiao, Yinxin.(2012).New evidence of agricultural activity and environmental change associated with the ancient Loulan kingdom, China, around 1500 years ago.HOLOCENE,22(1),53-61.
MLA Qin, Xiaoguang,et al."New evidence of agricultural activity and environmental change associated with the ancient Loulan kingdom, China, around 1500 years ago".HOLOCENE 22.1(2012):53-61.
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