The Oasis Agricultural Research of the Tang and the Five
|School||Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences|
|Keywords||Tang and Five Dynasties Dunhuang oasis agriculture ecology|
Oasis agriculture is indicative of moving from barbarism towards civilization of the oasis areas. Dunhuang agriculture, which belongs to the oasis ecological system of western China, is the typical oasis agriculture. This thesis, based on the Dunhuang inscriptions and historical documents, aims to investigate the characteristics of Dunhuang agricultural development and the interaction between oasis agricultural production and the oasis ecological system during Tang and Five Dynasties, from such two respects as exploitation and distribution of agricultural resources and production.Agricultural resources are referred to water, soil, and labor. Water resource in desert, controlling everything, is the key to the development of oasis agriculture. The facility of water conservancy has considerable influence on the rise and fall of oasis agricultural production. The advanced irrigation web, the scientific and reasonable use of water, and the strict and perfect administration were the most striking characteristics of the utilization of water resource in Dunhuang area during Tang and Five Dynasties. It supplied the necessary condition for the existence and development of the oasis agriculture in this area. Soil is the basis for agriculture, and the utilization of soil resource in Dunhuang area was a mixed used of agrarian land, grassland, and woodland. The possession of land indicated the feudal land institution, which was represented by the co-existence of grand landlords, land-holding peasants, and the temples holding lots of land. The labor resource in Dunhuang area during Tang and Five Dynasties was not inadequate. But the non-balanced proportion of male and female directly influenced the division and efficiency of agricultural production, and the reproduction of laborers. The existence of great amount of dependent laborers revealed the undeveloped aspects of the production relations. The mixture of multi-nations and distinct models of production formed the agricultural tradition and production structure in Dunhuang areaAgricultural production mainly included planting and livestock farming. The multi-structure of planting provided not only plenty of foods, also nutritious forage for livestock. Judged from the instruments and planting ways, the production level was relatively high, and the average production of each mu was 1.5 dan. Livestock fanning was another important means of agriculture in Dunhuang area. It was quite common for the government, the common people, and the temples to have livestock farming. Horsing under the charge of government was for military and transportation services. Sheep raising was for the need of milk, meat, and leather in everyday life. Livestock were usually raised both on grassland and in sties. It was of high economic efficiency and important ecological meaning.The oasis agriculture in Dunhuang area during Tang and Five Dynasties has the characteristics of the Chinese traditional agriculture. Its development was mainly effected by the nation relationship, the state administration, and Buddhism. The development of ecological environment is of both reasonable and negative factors, but it worked smoothly in the whole.