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Climate Change along the Silk Road and Its Influence on Scythian Cultural Expansion and Rise of the Mongol Empire
Che, Ping1; Lan, Jianghu2,3,4
Corresponding AuthorLan, Jianghu(lanjh@ieecas.cn)
2021-03-01
Source PublicationSUSTAINABILITY
Volume13Issue:5Pages:17
AbstractClimate change and cultural exchange both influenced cultural development along the continental Silk Road during the late Holocene, but climate change and its influence on nomadic civilizations during that time has yet to be systematically assessed. In this study, we analyzed records of climate change along the Silk Road covering key periods in the late Holocene, based on multiproxies from various archives including lake sediments, shorelines/beach ridges, peatlands, ice cores, tree rings, aeolian sediments, moraines, and historical documents. Combined with archaeological data, we assessed the influence of climate on development and expansion of representative pastoral nomadism. Our results show that the most notable climate changes in Central Asia were characterized by decreasing temperature, expanding glaciers, increasing precipitation, and increasing humidity during transitions from the Sub-Boreal to Sub-Atlantic Period (ca. 9-8th century BC) and from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age (ca. 13-14th century AD). The two periods coincided with Scythian Cultural expansion across the steppe landscape of Central Asia and rise of the Mongol Empire, respectively. These temporal coincidences are interpreted as causally related, where temperature fall and glacial advance may have forced the pastoral nomadism to southward migration. Coeval wetness and southward migration of steppe landscape in Central Asia were beneficial for these cultural expansions, which spanned the Eurasian arid and semi-arid zone westward. Therefore, during the historical period when productivity was underdeveloped, although expansions of pastoral nomadism were closely related to internal social structures, climate change was possibly the most critical controlling factor for sustainability development and collapse.
KeywordSub-Atlantic Period Little Ice Age lake sediment shoreline climate change culture expansion
DOI10.3390/su13052530
Indexed BySCI ; SCI
Language英语
Funding ProjectStrategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences[XDB40010300] ; Natural Science Foundation of China[41991253] ; Natural Science Foundation of China[U20A2078] ; National Social Science Foundation of China[18ZDA172] ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
WOS Research AreaScience & Technology - Other Topics ; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Funding OrganizationStrategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences ; Natural Science Foundation of China ; National Social Science Foundation of China ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
WOS SubjectGreen & Sustainable Science & Technology ; Environmental Sciences ; Environmental Studies
WOS IDWOS:000628635200001
PublisherMDPI
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.ieecas.cn/handle/361006/16168
Collection现代环境研究室
第四纪科学与全球变化卓越创新中心
Corresponding AuthorLan, Jianghu
Affiliation1.Xianyang Normal Univ, Dept Foreign Languages, Xianyang 712000, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Earth Environm, State Key Lab Loess & Quaternary Geol, Xian 710061, Peoples R China
3.China Pakistan Joint Res Ctr Earth Sci, Chengdu 610041, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Ctr Excellence Quaternary Sci & Global Change, Xian 710061, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Che, Ping,Lan, Jianghu. Climate Change along the Silk Road and Its Influence on Scythian Cultural Expansion and Rise of the Mongol Empire[J]. SUSTAINABILITY,2021,13(5):17.
APA Che, Ping,&Lan, Jianghu.(2021).Climate Change along the Silk Road and Its Influence on Scythian Cultural Expansion and Rise of the Mongol Empire.SUSTAINABILITY,13(5),17.
MLA Che, Ping,et al."Climate Change along the Silk Road and Its Influence on Scythian Cultural Expansion and Rise of the Mongol Empire".SUSTAINABILITY 13.5(2021):17.
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