Publications

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2016
D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2016.  Model building, model testing, and the spread of agriculture to the Tibetan Plateau. Archaeological Research in Asia. 5:16-23.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ara.2016.02.001   AbstractWebsite

Recent archeological evidence has revealed that a major transition in subsistence regimes took place around the second millennium BC. This paper argues that in order for archeologists to understand transitions in subsistence regimes in the past, it is necessary to develop models capable of outlining our frames of reference. It summarizes how ecological niche models (ENM) have contributed to our understanding of the spread of agriculture to the Plateau and situates ENM within the two current paradigms used for understanding subsistence change in archeological research (Optimal Foraging Theory and Niche Construction Theory) and argues that recent advances in computing and in spatial modeling should be employed by researchers seeking to make testable hypothesis about subsistence change on the Tibetan Plateau.

2015
D'alpoim Guedes, J, Jiang M, He K, Wu X, Jiang Z.  2015.  Site of Baodun yields earliest evidence for the spread of rice and foxtail millet agriculture to south-west China. Antiquity. 87:758-771.: Cambridge University Press   10.1017/S0003598X00049449   AbstractWebsite

The Chengdu plain of south-west China lies outside the main centres of early domestication in the Huanghe and Yangzi valleys, but its importance in Chinese prehistory is demonstrated by the spectacular Sanxingdui bronzes of the second millennium BC and by the number of walled enclosures of the third millennium BC associated with the Baodun culture. The latter illustrate the development of social complexity. Paradoxically, however, these are not the outcome of a long settled agricultural history but appear to be associated with the movement of the first farming communities into this region. Recent excavations at the Baodun type site have recovered plant remains indicating not only the importance of rice cultivation, but also the role played by millet in the economy of these and other sites in south-west China. Rice cultivation in paddy fields was supplemented by millet cultivation in neighbouring uplands. Together they illustrate how farmers moving into this area from the Middle Yangzi adjusted their cultivation practices to adapt to their newly colonised territories.

2014
D'alpoim Guedes, J, Butler EE.  2014.  Modeling constraints on the spread of agriculture to Southwest China with thermal niche models. Quaternary International. 349:29-41.   10.1016/j.quaint.2014.08.003   AbstractWebsite

Understanding how, why and by what mechanisms agricultural practices, technologies and products spread out of their zones of original development is a central theme of archaeology. To date, very few studies have combined agro-ecological modeling with detailed analyses of archaeobotanical remains to outline the kinds of challenges that ancient humans faced as they moved crops into environments different from their original homeland of domestication. This paper employs ecological niche modeling to outline the constraints faced by ancient humans as they moved rice, millets and eventually wheat and barley into the mountainous region of Southwest China. In particular, we propose that moving rice into this region presented considerable challenges for its cultivators and we infer that its spread into this area was facilitated by breeding cold adapted varieties of rice or by combining its cultivation with that of millet. High altitude areas did not take up full-scale agriculture until the introduction of cold adapted western Eurasian domesticates such as wheat and barley. The temperature niche models reinforce the adoption of these regionally varied agricultural strategies and support the significance of domesticates other than rice for the spread of agriculture into Southwest China.