Understanding the specific nature of the East Asia Neolithic transition

  • Oksana Yanshina Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography RAS
Keywords: East Asia, Palaeolithic-Neolithic transition, Neolithic, Subneolithic, Meso-Neolithic, origin of pottery


The main subject of this article is to define the specific nature of the Palaeolithic-Neolithic transition in East Asia. A comparative analysis of regional East Asian data was run in order to achieve this. As a result, three dissimilar models of the Neolithic transition were distinguished: Meso-Neolithic, Subneolithic, and Neolithic proper. The first and last are similar to their counterparts in the western part of Eurasia, but the Subneolithic is unique for East Asia. Regarding chronology, two stages of Neolithic transition can be clearly recognized in this region. The new Subneolithic type of hunter-gatherer cultures occurred during the first stage around the Sea of Japan. At the second stage, the transition to food production started in central and north-central China. In between, there was a cultural, spatial and temporal gap splitting up the transitional process into two isolated episodes.


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How to Cite
YanshinaO. (2019). Understanding the specific nature of the East Asia Neolithic transition. Documenta Praehistorica, 46, 6-29. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.46.1