The possible role of environmental change, especially sea level change, as a stimulus for the development of human residence and migration is poorly understood. We investigate this problem by showing a record of sea-level change and coastal transformation based on a sediment core (FN1 core) and a Neolithic site (Pingfengshan site) obtained from the Funing bay on the northeast coast of Fujian, China. The Funing bay coastal area represents a unique feature in China’s Neolithic cultures, comprising a silty beach dominated by quartz-rich sand and several important sites of Huangguashan cultural period.
Samples from FN1 core and Pingfengshan site were taken for grain size ananlyses and for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. The blue-light stimulated OSL signals were measured by the single aliquot regenerative dose (SAR) protocol to determine the ages of of the samples. Samples from FN1 core yield OSL ages ranging from 49.9 ka to 0.8 ka, providing the systematic geochronological evidence for the sea level change of Funing bay. The comparison of sea level change and Neolithic cultural periods presents a good relationship in coastal area of Fujian, China since about 7 ka before present. In detail, the cultural types of Keqiutou culture and Huangguashan culture all belong to coastal mountainous culture, of which flourishing periods corresponds to the higher sea level periods of mid-late Holocene. Tanshishan culture belongs to estuarine coastal culture, and most sites of this period correspond to a lower sea level located at lower altitudes.