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Gu Z.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Gu Z.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhu J.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Zhu J.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2014

The faience in China suddenly appeared in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), and its production is considered to be influenced by the West. In this paper, the microstructure and chemical compositions obtained by synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SR-μCT) and μ-probe energy dispersion X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF) were combined to disclose the manufacturing information of faience beads excavated from Peng State cemetery in Hengshui, Shanxi Province, China, dated to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC). Based on inner structural features obtained by SR-μCT, it was found that these faience beads could be divided into two types: glazed faience and glassy faience. According to the structural information revealed by the CT slices, it is inferred that these beads were first formed on an organic cylinder and then glazed using the direct application method. The possible sources of copper colorant are copper ores. In addition, the glaze chemical compositions are distinct from Na2O-CaO-SiO2 glaze or glass in the West, and thus, Western Zhou faience should have an indigenous origin in China. Furthermore, the manufacturing features are consistent with the techniques of proto-porcelain during the same time period, but the glaze recipe is distinct from that of proto-porcelain and early glass in China. Consequently, it is proposed that faience in the Western Zhou Dynasty was not the precursor of early glass in China. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.

Mu D.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Mu D.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Nan P.H.,Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | Wang J.Y.,Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | And 4 more authors.
JOM | Year: 2015

This study attempts to determine the metallurgical and chemical characteristics of Chinese bronze artifacts from the early Iron Age by taking the bronze artifacts from the Houhe site as an example. The bronze artifacts included vessels, buckles, mirrors, and bells. Elemental compositions of 10 Chinese bronze artifacts from the Houhe site were determined by an x-ray fluorescence system. Microstructures were observed by a polarizing microscope. Most of the artifacts were cast and lacked external evidence of secondary processing. The copper content of the vessels is higher than the other samples, and the copper content of buckles is the lowest. High tin content is a distinctive characteristic of the mirrors. Through comparisons, bells show a decline in the content of copper from the Western Zhou dynasty to the early Han dynasty, and the content of lead increased over time. Combined with historical studies, the findings show that there may have been industrial standards for bronze production during the Han dynasty. © 2015 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society

Chen H.,Zhejiang University | Chen C.,Fudan University | Wang Y.,Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | Shen C.,Royal Ontario Museum
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

This study investigated regional variability of human behavioral adaptation to changing environments during the Late Pleistocene. The four important Upper Paleolithic sites of Xiachuan, Xueguan, Shizitan and Chaisi from southern Shanxi Province in central China were selected for comparison on a regional scale. In order to understand the technologies and activities of the occupants, both dynamic techno-typological and microwear analyses were employed. The four prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups adopted lithic technologies to different levels to cope with their own environments, climate and available resources by the terminal Pleistocene. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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