Prehistoric and protohistoric sociocultural development in the North Han River region of Korea
Ro, Hyuk Jin
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Ro, Hyuk Jin
The primary purpose of this dissertation is to reconstruct sociocultural development in the North Han River Valley in Korea during the prehistoric and proto historic periods ( ca 6000 B .C.-A.D. 300). Based on theoretical ideas about the close relationship between cultural behavior and the natural environment as well as synthetical observation of archaeological data in the North Han River Valley, I have proposed the following testable hypothesis in regard to 'sociocultural development in the North Han River Valley : that its unique ecosystem brought about a subsistence pattern unique to the region. The North Han River Valley's specific geographical formation, connected with the Lower Han River Basin by way of the river system, brought it under the crucial influence of the latter's more advanced cultural elements. The circumscribed environment derived from the distinctively developed geomophological formation of the North Han River Valley influenced autochthonous sociocultural development in the region. Enumerating the most basic factors, the affluent riverine resources of the Valley enabled Chiilmun period inhabitants be heavily dependent on riverine fishing supplemented by the hunting and gathering of wild vegetation. Riverine fishing as well as hunting and gathering richly supplemented the agrarian economy which became dominant in the Valley after the appearance ofMumun people in later prehistoric times. Due to population saturation of limited arable lands, Mumun agrarian people became increasingly circumscribed and could not evolve into a state-level society. In association with this factor, the geographical proximity of the Valley to the Lower Han River inevitably brought it under the influence of advanced cultures emerging in the Lower Han River Basin. This process, which began in the later Mumun period, actually has continued to the present, passing through the protohistoric State Formation period and Paekche kingdom.
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