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Wei G.B.,Chongqing Three Gorges University | Wei G.B.,Chongqing Normal University | Hu S.M.,Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | Yu K.F.,CAS South China Sea Institute of Oceanology | And 6 more authors.
Science China Earth Sciences | Year: 2010

Recently found materials indicate that the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, survived in northern China into the late Pleistocene. East Asia is the key area of mammoth evolution after the initial radiation of early forms out of Africa and into Eurasia at the beginning of the late Pliocene (c. 3.5-3.0 Ma). M. rumanus, M. meridionalis, M. trogontherii, and M. primigenius probably formed a continuous and transitional evolutionary lineage within the pan-Eurasian mammoth radiation in East Asia. Each speciation event of the Eurasian mammoths was followed by a rapid and large-scale dispersal event: out of East Asia. Allopatric speciation is the main speciation pattern of Mammuthus. The climatic vacillation was severe and frequent in East Asia from the early part of early Pleistocene (c. 2.6 Ma) onward, which probably brought about successive speciation in East Asia and the subsequent dispersal of the mammoths. © Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010.

Xing L.D.,China University of Geosciences | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Klein H.,Saurierwelt Palaontologisches Museum | Gierlinski G.D.,JuraPark | And 5 more authors.
Palaeoworld | Year: 2014

Deposits from the Ordos Basin of mid-western China are rich in body fossils and ichnofossils of Early Cretaceous vertebrates. Thousands of Early Cretaceous sauropod, theropod and bird tracks described since 1958 have been found at several localities in the basin. We report two new sites (Dijiaping and Bawangzhuang) in the Luohe Formation of the Ordos Basin, Shaanxi Province, which contain small theropod footprints that are here referred to the ichnogenus Jialingpus. The assignment is based on pad configurations including (1) the large metatarsophalangeal area positioned in line with the axis of digit III, (2) the subdivision of this part into a small pad behind digit II, which in some specimens is close to the general position of the hallux (digit I), and a large metatarsophalangeal pad behind digit IV, and (3) a distinct inter-pad space between metatarsophalangeal pads and proximal phalangeal pads of digits II and III. We re-describe the type material of the type ichnospecies Jialingpus yuechiensis from the Upper Jurassic Penglaizhen Formation of Sichuan Province, proposing a largely amended diagnosis for this ichnotaxon. The presence of a digit I trace in the holotype, indicating a relatively long hallux, and the large metatarsophalangeal area positioned in line with digit III distinguishes Jialingpus from the ichnogenus Grallator and similar tracks that all lack these features. The only difference between Jialingpus specimens from the Cretaceous of the Ordos Basin and those of the Jurassic Penglaizhen Formation is the larger digit divarication in the Cretaceous taxon. This is the fourth record of Jialingpus in China and the second in Cretaceous strata, with the first being those from the Huangyangquan locality in Xinjiang, China. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS.

Zhang H.,Zhejiang University | Hu T.,Zhejiang University | Hu T.,Zhejiang University of Technology | Huang X.,Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2015

Organic-inorganic hybrid material used as consolidant for earthen relics was synthesized by adding silica nano particles into polysiloxane with the presence of surfactant. This composite material is less hydrophobic than other polymer consolidant, which can avoid the preservation damage caused by the incompatibility between the hydrophobic consolidant and the hydrophilic soil. The tensile strength of the synthesized consolidant is close to other rubbers, which can relieve the stress between consolidant and soil within the expansion-shrinkage process when environmental conditions change. The product was applied on ancient Liangzhu city wall and its effectiveness was examined.

Huang S.-Y.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Kang T.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Liu D.-Y.,Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | Duan Y.-Z.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Shao J.-L.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University
Archives of Oral Biology | Year: 2012

Objectives: This paper compares permanent dental dimensions between three ancient populations that belonged to the same biological population throughout a temporal range of 2000 years to detect temporal trends and metric variation in dentition. Materials and methods: The samples analysed were dental remains of 4502 permanent teeth from 321 individuals, which were excavated from three archaeological sites: Chang'an (1000-1300 years BP), Shanren (2200 years BP) and Shaolingyuan (3000 years BP) in the Xi'an region (northern China). For each tooth three standard measurements were taken: Mesiodistal (MD) diameter of crown, labiolingual or buccolingual (BL) diameter of crown and length of root (LR). Results: Three ancient population samples generally displayed the same dental dimensions (p > 0.05), whereas some tooth types varied. The Shaolingyuan had larger canine and the smallest maxillary second molars and the Chang'an had the largest mandibular first molars in the MD dimension. The Shanren had the smallest maxillary third molars and mandibular central incisors, and the Chang'an had the smallest maxillary lateral incisors in the BL dimension. In the LR measures, statistically significant differences of five tooth types showed that the Chang'an were smaller than the Shaolingyuan and the Shanren. Comparisons of coefficients of variation for teeth showed that the length of root and third molar usually displayed greater variation. Conclusions: Decreasing or increasing trend for crown size does not occur between the ancient populations, while changes in crown size of a few tooth types fluctuate. The root size is more variable than the crown size and is likely to reflect a degenerated trend in a few tooth types. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tea is an ancient drink known for its taste, aroma, medicinal, and stimulating qualities. The earliest textual references to the beverage arise from 59 BC during the Western Han Dynasty. It is thought that tea—along with silks and porcelains—was a key commodity exported from the ancient Chinese capital Chang’an via the ancient network of trade routes, the Silk Road. Previous evidence indicated that tea made its way to Tibet, southern and central Asia during the Tang Dynasty (between 618-907 CE). And the oldest physical evidence stemmed from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 CE). However, archaeologists have found evidence that shows tea was grown around 2,100 years ago for the Western Han Dynasty and transported to central Asia by 200 CE. The finds constitute the oldest physical evidence of tea in the world. The new archaeological evidence was discovered in two funerary sites: the Han Yangling Mausoleum in Xi’an, Sha’anxi Province; and the Gurgyam Cemetery in western Tibet’s Ngari district. Built for the fourth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty and his wife, the Han Yangling Mausoleum is situated along the north bank of the Weihe River. Excavations at the site occurred between 1998 and 2005, performed by the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology. Amid the artifacts, the archaeologists found plant remains consisting of rice and millet. But they also found unconsolidated plant pieces colored brown to black, which warranted further study. Radiocarbon dating placed the unidentified plant pieces from roughly 2,100 years ago. At the Gurgyam Cemetery, located along the bank of the Sutlej River, archaeologists—digging in 2012—found burial artifacts, including silk pieces, ceramic and bronze vessels, among other artifacts. “An unidentified object found in one ceramic vessel appears to be agglomerated plant residue,” write the researchers in Scientific Reports. “This plant residue and other grave goods have been dated as second to third century CE.” According to the researchers, several morphological features of the two samples matched those of tea, including tea bud structure. They further used ultra-performance liquid chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry to isolate traces of theanine, an amino acid found in tea; and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identity caffeine traces. Additionally—at the Gurgyam Cemetery site—the researchers found abundant evidence of plant crystals called calcium phytoliths, which were identified as tea, but also found barley lemma phytoliths and unrecognizable plants mixed in. “Therefore, it is likely that tea buds and/or leaves were consumed in a form similar to traditionally-prepared butter tea, in which tea is mixed with salt, tsampa (roasted barley flour) and/or ginger in the cold mountain areas of central Asia,” the researchers write.

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