【Luojia Forum】Professor Wang Mingke Discusses Agriculture and Civilization

News Network (Correspondent Xu Yan) - On the evening of May 30, Professor Wang Mingke, a guest lecturer in the History Department at Peking University and a research fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, delivered the 434th Luojia Forum lecture titled "Agriculture and Civilization."


In his report, Professor Wang said that while the academic community generally believes that agriculture led to the sedentary lifestyle of humans in the Neolithic era, this explanation fails to account for why there was a sudden rapid change in human ecology after several millennia of relative stability. Using case studies from the early 20th century involving Tibetan, Qiang, and Yi communities, Wang highlighted how different types of historical memory shape human behavior, which may explain these ecological changes. He argued that people in initial communities lacked the motivation for external expansion due to limited resources, whereas those in purely kinship-based communities ventured out to establish ruling families, with agriculture being a key means of governance.


In the Q&A session, Professor Wang and Professor Xu Shaohua from Wuhan University's History Department discussed topics such as the global position of Chinese civilization, continuity of civilization, and the importance of writing. Wang also addressed questions on the applicability of anthropological cases, identifying initial communities in archaeology, and characteristics of nomadic peoples.

(Photographer: Wang Ning)

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