National Museum of Prehistory

Taitung City, Taiwan

National Museum of Prehistory

Taitung City, Taiwan
Time filter
Source Type

Penailillo J.,University of Chile | Olivares G.,University of Chile | Payacan C.,University of Chile | Chang C.-S.,National Museum of Prehistory | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Background Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L'Hér. ex Vent) is a dioecious tree native to East Asia and mainland Southeast-Asia, introduced prehistorically to Polynesia as a source of bark fiber by Austronesian-speaking voyagers. In Oceania, trees are coppiced and harvested for production of bark-cloth, so flowering is generally unknown. A survey of botanical records of paper mulberry revealed a distributional disjunction: The tree is apparently absent in Borneo and the Philippines. A subsequent study of chloroplast haplotypes linked paper mulberry of Remote Oceania directly to a population in southern Taiwan, distinct from known populations in mainland Southeast-Asia. Methodology We describe the optimization and use of a DNA marker designed to identify sex in paper mulberry. We used this marker to determine the sex distribution in selected localities across Asia, Near and Remote Oceania. We also characterized all samples using the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer sequence (ITS) in order to relate results to a previous survey of ITS diversity. Results In Near and Remote Oceania, contemporary paper mulberry plants are all female with the exception of Hawaii, where plants of both sexes are found. In its natural range in Asia, male and female plants are found, as expected. Male plants in Hawaii display an East Asian ITS genotype, consistent with modern introduction, while females in Remote Oceania share a distinctive variant. Conclusions Most paper mulberry plants now present in the Pacific appear to be descended from female clones introduced prehistorically. In Hawaii, the presence of male and female plants is thought to reflect a dual origin, one a prehistoric female introduction and the other a modern male introduction by Japanese/Chinese immigrants. If only female clones were dispersed from a source-region in Taiwan, this may explain the absence of botanical records and breeding populations in the Philippines and Borneo, and Remote Oceania. © 2016 Adel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

News Article | December 5, 2016

HAMILTON, Dec. 5, 2016 - An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization. The answer is in mitochondrial genomic evidence of malaria, coaxed from the teeth of bodies buried in three Italian cemeteries, dating back to the Imperial period of the 1st to 3rd centuries Common Era. The genomic data is important, say researchers, because it serves as a key reference point for when and where the parasite existed in humans, and provides more information about the evolution of human disease. "Malaria was likely a significant historical pathogen that caused widespread death in ancient Rome," says evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of McMaster's Ancient DNA Centre where the work was conducted. A serious and sometimes fatal infectious disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes, malaria and its parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is responsible for nearly 450,000 deaths every year, the majority of them children under the age of five. "There is extensive written evidence describing fevers that sound like malaria in ancient Greece and Rome, but the specific malaria species responsible is unknown," says Stephanie Marciniak, a former post doctoral student in the Ancient DNA Centre and now a postdoctoral scholar at Pennsylvania State University. "Our data confirm that the species was likely Plasmodium falciparum, and that it affected people in different ecological and cultural environments. These results open up new questions to explore, particularly how widespread this parasite was, and what burden it placed upon communities in Imperial Roman Italy," she says. Marciniak sampled teeth taken from 58 adults and 10 children interred at three Imperial period Italian cemeteries: Isola Sacra, Velia and Vagnari. Located on the coast, Velia and Isola Sacra were known as important port cities and trading centres. Vagnari is located further inland and believed to be the burial site of labourers who would have worked on a Roman rural estate. Using techniques developed at McMaster and abroad, researchers mined tiny DNA fragments from dental pulp taken from the teeth. They were able to extract, purify and enrich specifically for the Plasmodium species known to infect humans. It was a difficult and painstaking process, complicated by the very nature of the disease. Usable DNA is challenging to extract because the parasites primarily dwell within the bloodstream and organs, including the spleen and liver, which decompose and break down over time--in this instance, over the course of two millennia. Marciniak, Poinar, and Tracy Prowse from McMaster, alongside Luca Bandioli from the Luigi Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome and Edward Holmes from the University of Sydney recovered more than half of the P. falciparum mitochondrial genome from two individuals from Velia and Vagnari. P. falciparum remains the most prevalent malaria parasite in sub-Saharan Africa and the most-deadly anywhere, responsible for the largest number of malaria-related deaths globally. The findings are published in the journal Current Biology. McMaster provides a high definition broadcast studio that can connect with any television broadcaster around the world. To book an interview please contact:

Richter D.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Richter D.,University of Bayreuth | Dibble H.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Dibble H.,University of Pennsylvania | And 8 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

The relative and numerical chronological position of the technological and typological variants of the Mousterian in southwest France has been the subject of debate for over fifty years. Since the advent of both ESR and TL dating methods in the 1980s, a database of chronometric dates for a growing number of sites has been steadily accumulating. A recent summary by Guibert et al. appears to show a complex pattern of broadly overlapping Mousterian variants in the late Middle Palaeolithic and has led some to conclude that Bordes' initial interpretation of these variants, as distinct cultural groups, was essentially correct. This paper adds to this database with new thermoluminescence dates from Pech de l'Azé IV. This site, originally excavated by Bordes in the 1970s, contains a deep sequence of Mousterian assemblages, which express considerable technological and typological variability and which are associated with well-preserved faunal remains. Excavations were undertaken from 2000 to 2003, in part to gain a better understanding of the geological context of the assemblages and also to obtain chronometric data. In this paper, new TL dates for the levels 3B, 4C, 5A and 8 are presented. The deepest of these, the Typical Mousterian of Layer 8, is placed in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5c. Another Typical Mousterian industry from level 5A dates to the transition from MIS 5 to MIS 4. Level 4C, which is rich in scrapers, is placed in MIS 4, while the Mousterian of Acheulian Tradition is attributed to MIS 3. At a local scale, these new dates allow for the integration of the Pech de l'Azé IV sequence with chronometric dates available for the nearby sites of Pech de l'Azé I and II, and at a more regional scale they provide additional data points from the more poorly dated late interglacial and early MIS 4 period. These dates are in line with the emerging pattern suggesting that the Mousterian variants, as they are defined, overlap considerably in time, and call into question their interpretation as a succession of chronological units, while a correlation with climate change of the technological units is not clear either. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Lee C.-Y.,National Taiwan University | Lee C.-Y.,University of Oxford | Chen M.-L.,National Taiwan University | Ditchfield P.,University of Oxford | And 6 more authors.
Archaeological Research in Asia | Year: 2016

Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses were conducted on Neolithic Yuan-Shan faunal bone collagen to reconstruct a site-specific dietary isotope baseline, and to evaluate the contribution of potential food resources to the diet of Yuan-Shan people. The mean δ13C and δ15N values of terrestrial mammals were -17.7±3.6‰ and 5.4±1.3‰, respectively. The mean δ13C and δ15N values of freshwater fish were -20.8±2.2‰ and 7.7±2.0‰; while the marine fish had the highest mean δ13C (-11.8±1.2‰) and δ15N values (12.1±1.7‰). Combined with archeological evidence and previous isotopic data derived from Yuan-Shan human bone collagen, we suggest that the subsistence strategies of Yuan-Shan people were broad. They relied on rice cultivation, hunting, fishing and gathering food resources from the wild; in addition, they probably raise pigs, as early as 4200yrBP. Although the Yuan-Shan people relied on broad-spectrum food resources, the foods they mainly consumed were terrestrial herbivores and freshwater fish based on the result of multi-source mixing model. Besides, marine fish, shellfish, and C3 plants also contributed substantially to their diet. By comparison, the contribution of C4 plants was minor. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Tong L.-T.,Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan | Lee K.-H.,National Museum of Prehistory | Yeh C.-K.,National Museum of Prehistory | Yeh C.-K.,National Taiwan University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Geophysics | Year: 2013

The Peinan archaeological site is the most intact Neolithic village with slate coffin burial complexes in Taiwan. However, the area that potentially contains significant ancient remains is covered by dense vegetation. No reliable data show the distribution of the ancient village, and no geophysical investigation has been performed at this site. To evaluate various geophysical methods under the geological setting and surface condition of the site, the physical properties of the remains were measured and four geophysical methods involving magnetic, electromagnetic (EM), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) were tested along three parallel profiles. The results imply that the EM and magnetic methods are much cost-effective and suitable for investigating the entire area. GPR and ERT methods can provide high resolution subsurface image, which are much suitable for subsequently detail investigation.The EM and magnetic surveys were thus conducted over the entire Peinan Cultural Park to understand the distribution of the ancient building remains at the Peinan site. The results of this study were verified by subsequent excavations, which indicate that the EM survey was successful in delineating the majority of the ancient village because the basements of building are highly resistive in comparison to the background sediment. The results of this investigation suggest that the ancient village was broadly distributed over the eastern part of the Peinan Culture Park and extended to the southeast. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Tong L.-T.,Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan | Lee K.-H.,National Museum of Prehistory | Yeh C.-K.,National Museum of Prehistory | Yeh C.-K.,National Taiwan University | And 2 more authors.
Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences | Year: 2013

The Peinan archaeological site is the largest prehistoric village in Taiwan. Only small-scale pits are allowed for research purposes because the Peinan site is protected by the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act. Careful selection of the pit locations is crucial for future archaeological research at this site. In this study, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey was applied near the stone pillar to understand the GPR signatures of the subsurface remains. Seven GPR signatures were categorized based on the radar characters shown on the GPR image. A detailed GPR survey with dense parallel survey lines was subsequently conducted in the area of northern extent of the onsite exhibition to map the subsurface ancient buildings. The results were verified by two test pits, which indicate that the distribution of the subsurface building structures can be well recognized from GPR depth slices. It will be very helpful for setting proper pits priorities for future archaeological research, and for making proper design of the new onsite exhibition.

Chen S.-H.,Feng Chia University | Lin C.W.,Feng Chia University | Wu T.-Y.,Feng Chia University | You C.-C.,National Museum of Prehistory | Hsu K.-C.,Feng Chia University
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2013

By focusing on the result of The Annual National Safe and Accessible Sidewalk Assessment project, this study performed factor analysis between the practical conduct and policy conduct. The study reviewed on previous sidewalk safe and accessible literature reviews; such as elderly population, safe and accessible space and planning design of sidewalk, and factor analysis related researches. From the result of factor analysis, two factors were extracted from the policy aspect and three factors were extracted from the practical conduct. For the two factors that extracted from the policy conduct, it was the "Overall Planning Management and Execution" and "Sidewalk Suitability". For the "Overall Planning Management and Execution", its eigenvalue was 4.866 and the explained value reached 54.069; which was the primary influence factor of the policy conduct. As for the three factors that extracted from the practical conduct, it was the "Accessibility", "Safety Facility Maintenance Condition", and "Space Planning". Among the factors, the eigenvalue of "Accessibility" was 5.179, and explained variance reached 51.786; which was the primary influence factor of the practical conduct. Therefore, it was suggested that for future improvements on the pedestrian environment, governmental agencies should strengthen on relevant sidewalk policies in order to regulate pedestrian safe and accessible space. It should accord the legal policies to execute on the overall improvement and development plan of the practical conduct. Other than that, in the process of practical assessment, it should have efficient and active action and planning on the safety and space aspects. © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Loading National Museum of Prehistory collaborators
Loading National Museum of Prehistory collaborators