The collapse of the North Song dynasty and the AD 1048-1128 Yellow River floods: Geoarchaeological evidence from northern Henan Province, China

TitleThe collapse of the North Song dynasty and the AD 1048-1128 Yellow River floods: Geoarchaeological evidence from northern Henan Province, China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsStorozum MJ, Qin Z, Ren X, Li H, Cui Y, Fu K, Liu H
JournalHolocene
Volume28
Issue11
Pagination1759-1770
Date Published11/2018
Abstract

From AD 1048 to 1128, Yellow River flooding killed over a million people, left many more homeless and destitute, and turned parts of the once fertile North China Plain into a silted-up agricultural wasteland. Brought on in part by climate change and the Northern Song dynasty's (AD 960-1127) mismanagement of the environment, the Yellow River floods likely hastened the collapse of the Northern Song dynasty. Despite the magnitude of this flood event, no sedimentary deposits have yet been linked to these historically recorded floods. In this research paper, we provide archaeological, sedimentary, and radiocarbon evidence of the AD 1048-1128 Yellow River floods at the Dazhanglongcun, Xidacheng, and Daguxiancun sites in Neihuang County, Henan Province. Based on our data, we argue that the AD 1048-1128 Yellow River floods deposited over 5 m of alluvium on villages in the North China Plain, radically changing both the physical and political landscape of Northern Song dynasty China.

DOI10.1177/0959683618788682