Shaanxi Archaeological Institute

Fengcheng, China

Shaanxi Archaeological Institute

Fengcheng, China
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Atahan P.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Dodson J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Li X.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Zhou X.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2011

Dietary patterns at two Bronze Age sites in the Hexi Corridor are investigated by the analysis of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in faunal bone collagen. The findings are compared with archaeobotanical remains from one of the sites which include high proportions of millet (Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica) as well as the western derived cereals wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare) and oat (Avena sativa). The isotopic data indicate domestic omnivores (Canis and Sus) had diets dominated by millet. Minimally offset δ 15N values between herbivore and omnivore fauna suggest low consumption of animal protein by omnivores. Diets of herded animal (Bos and Caprinae) included only low proportions of C4 foods, suggesting that these animals were not regularly foddered with millet plants, and that their grazing areas were mostly beyond the agricultural zone. The wide range in δ 15N values amongst herbivore fauna (4.1‰-11.8‰) suggests grazing occurred in a variety of ecological zones, and this would be consistent with the occurrence of long-distance transport of livestock in the region. © 2011.

Atahan P.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Atahan P.,Curtin University Australia | Dodson J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Li X.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2011

Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values are presented for faunal and human bone collagen from Baijia, in the Wei River valley region of Shaanxi Province, China. The remains have a calibrated age range of ca. 5709-5389 BC, and correspond with the early Neolithic Laoguantai Period. Stable isotopic results indicate that human diets included millet and probably aquatic foods such as fish and shellfish. Bovid samples are tentatively identified as water buffalo, and have a mean δ13C value of -14.6‰, which reflects some millet consumption. Whether bovids were grazing on wild millet, or had diets directly influenced by humans, is not known. The single Sus sample from Baijia had a diet dominated by C3 plants and is thus unlikely to have been a domesticated animal. Overall, the stable isotope results presented here conform to the current concept that the people of the Laoguantai culture were millet farmers, who had subsistence strategies that included hunted wild foods. © 2011.

Dodson J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Li X.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Sun N.,Chang'an University | Atahan P.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | And 5 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2014

People in northern and western China were probably the first in the world to use coal as a source of energy in a consistent way. The ages cluster around 1900-2200 bc in modern day Inner Mongolia and Shanxi provinces. These are areas where near-surface coal is abundant today and woody vegetation was scant in the Bronze Age. Since coal is bulky to transport, it was probably not a cost-effective energy source in areas with abundant wood supply. The sites where coal was first used were probably occupied for a century to a few centuries at most and were associated with Bronze Age societies. The earliest age is about 3490 bc from a house site at Xiahe in Shaanxi Province; however, the coal is not securely tied to the radiocarbon ages and is assumed to have been used at this site sometime after 3490 bc. The elemental composition of modern mine and sedimentary coal in nearby archaeological contexts suggests that coal was used from local sources, and that elemental composition of coal may be a useful tool in identifying site origin of coal. © The Author(s) 2014.

Huang X.-J.,Shaanxi Archaeological Institute | Yan J.,Shaanxi Archaeological Institute | Wang H.,The Institute of Relics and Archaeology of Gansu Province
Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi/Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis | Year: 2015

This paper reports the analysis results of 11 decorated silicate beads samples excavated from Ma Jia-yuan Warring State Cemetery, Gan Su Province with the portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, laser Raman spectrometer and X-ray diffraction spectrometer. It is includes 3 types among these samples on the basis of their chemical composition, NaO-CaO-SiO2, PbO-BaO-SiO2 glass system, and glassy faience. The blue part of the NaO-CaO-SiO2 glass sample was colored by Co2+, and Sb2O5 was discovered as opacifier. The results of Laser Raman analysis shows in some circle beads exits Chinese blue and Chinese purple. Combined with the existing research results the early cultural factors and technical exchange reflected from these samples are discussed. It shows that the material and craftsmanship of the beads contained Chinese blue and Chinese purple were affected by Qin Culture. But the composition of the Na-Ca-SiO2 glass eye bead is similar with those excavated from Xin Jiang area. It infers the technology of glass manufacture of the Xi Ron nationality was influenced by the Qin Culture and the grassland nationalities' culture simultaneously. The faience bead composed with the inner core and the outer glassy layer is possible a kind of transitional type between the faience and the real glass. This information offers a new reference for the research of the origin of the glass technology in the ancient China. © 2015, Science Press. All right reserved.

Yang Y.,Shaanxi Archaeological Institute | Zhu Y.,CAS Institute of Earth Environment
Radiocarbon | Year: 2010

A human skeleton of phenomenal size was uncovered during the excavation of a prehistoric site located in the city of Shangnan, Shaanxi province, China, in 2006. The skeleton dates to 4240-4100 cal yr BP, corresponding to the Long-shan culture (4400-4000 yr ago). The skeletal characteristics point to a young male 16-18 yr old with a height of 193 cm. This is the tallest skeleton ever discovered in prehistoric China, and thus we name him the "Longshan Giant." The giant appears to be of the Mongoloid race and has many physical characteristics that are similar to those of modern southern Asians. Upon closer examination, 3 drilled holes of 5 cm in diameter were found in the right parietal bone of the skull. No rationale exists yet to explain the presence of these holes. © 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

Zhu Y.,CAS Institute of Earth Environment | Cheng P.,CAS Institute of Earth Environment | Yang Y.,Shaanxi Archaeological Institute
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

The gelatin extracted from "The Giant" was measured so as to crosscheck the reliability of 14C dating of collagen. The results indicate that both methods are consistent, which indicates that the giant died during 4200-4100calBP, in the late Longshan Cultural period. Stable isotopic reanalysis on the sample (δ13C=-8.40±1.9‰ and δ15N=8.84±2.0‰) shows that C4 plants (mainly millet) were a primary source of food for the giant, along with animal proteins which may have come from domestic animals. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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