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Talks on the Argument with Coupling Tillage for Ages

Qian Xiaokang (Yangling, China)

China is an ancient country with traditional agriculture. In studying the agricultural development history with thousands of years, there has been one problem which can be inescapable - i.e. the coupling tillage (齐�). There has been only simple written record concerning this cultivation pattern in history, thereby causing the argument with it among their generations. For whereas in the past ages and even until recent times, there have been more arguments with it, and the arguments have been continuing. In the final analysis, there are two kinds of understanding of the coupling tillage. One is that the coupling tillage is the "compound tillage" pattern done by two persons via shoulder to shoulder, and the other is that the coupling tillage is "the pulling plough" pattern, i.e. one person to hold the plough, and another to pull the plough. The author holds that from the mechanical point of view there has been not enough evidence for this argument. Firstly, as a kind of tillage operation, there is a neglection of the classification of production tools in this argument. When the different kinds of production tools are used, there should be bound to have a kind of optimal pattern to apply force for the operation. Accordingly, departing from the classification of production tools in studying the differences of tillage patterns, it is hard to differentiate who is right or who is wrong. Secondly, another important aspect is completely ignored or neglected in the argument with the coupling tillage owing to too much stress on different tillage patterns, i.e. the of thousand, or ten thousand people in the coupling tillage makes the stone production tools experience severe tests in ancient Chinese agro-development history of production tools. The practice has proved that with the needs of productivity development, stone stools have finally completed their historical mission because of their weak strength.

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