Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute

Urunchi, China

Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute

Urunchi, China
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Zhang Y.,Peking University | Mo D.,Peking University | Hu K.,Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology | Bao W.,Peking University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Geographical Sciences | Year: 2017

The Xiaohe Cemetery archaeological site (Cal. 4–3.5 ka BP) is one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Xinjiang, China. Although the surrounding environment is an extremely arid desert now, abundant archaeological remains indicate that human occupation was common during certain periods in the Holocene. Field investigations and laboratory analyses of a sediment profile near the Xiaohe Cemetery indicate that while the regional environment was arid desert throughout the Holocene there were three episodes of lake formation near the site in the periods 4.8–3.5 ka BP, 2.6–2.1 ka BP and 1.2–0.9 ka BP. Geomorphic and hydrological investigations reveal that a lake or lakes formed in a low-lying area when water was derived initially from the Kongque River and then shunted into the Xiaohe River basin. Low amounts of active chemical elements in lacustrine sediment between 4.8–3.5 ka BP indicate abundant and continuous water volume in the lake; the content of active chemical elements increased between 2.6–2.1 ka BP but was still at a relatively low level, suggesting a declining amount of water and diminished inflow. Between 1.2–0.9 ka BP there was a very high content of active elements, suggesting decreased water volume and indicating that the lake was stagnate. In contrast, the general climate condition shows that there had a warm-humid stage at 8–6 ka BP, a cool-humid stage at 6–2.9 ka BP and a warm-dry stage at 2.9–0.9 ka BP in this region. The hydrological evolutions around Xiaohe Cemetery did not have one-to-one correspondence with climate changes. Regional comparison indicates that broad-scale climatic conditions played an important role through its influences on the water volume of the Tarim River and Kongque River. But, the formation of the lakes and their level were controlled by geomorphic conditions that influenced how much water volume could be shunted to Xiaohe River from Kongque River. Human occupation of the Xiaohe Cemetery and nearby regions during the Bronze Age and Han-Jin period (202 BC–420 AD) corresponded to the two earlier lake periods, while no human activities existed in the third lake period because of the decreased water volume. © 2017, Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Rao H.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Rao H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Economic Botany | Year: 2017

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) were conducted to identify a birch bark quiver from Ergonghe Reservoir Cemetery (the Tang Dynasty, A.D. 618–907) in Xinjiang, Northwest China. White substance on the bark surface was identified as gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) by FTIR and X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD). The gypsum was probably residual white pigment of colored painting on the birch bark quiver. This is the first time that birch bark has been scientifically identified in China and it also provides the earliest evidence of colored painting on a birch bark artifact in ancient China. The minimally destructive methods are informative and promising for the analysis of ancient samples. Birch species are widely distributed in North China and ancient nomadic people put the bark to use in many aspects of their lives, reflecting the considerable importance of birch exploitation in their local life. © 2017 The New York Botanical Garden


Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Shevchenko A.,MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics | Knaust A.,MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2014

Cheese making has been inferred at several sites in northern Europe as early as the 6th millennium BC and was common in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 3rd millennium BC. However, the remains of ancient cheeses have never been found and recipes of ancient dairy, its production scale, social and economic impact remain poorly understood. Here we present direct proteomics evidence for the production of an earliest known cheese that was found as an organic mass associated with the mummies of Early Bronze Age cemetery of Xiaohe (1980-1450BC) in Xinjiang, China. Kefir fermentation of ruminant milk by a symbiotic culture of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens and other lactic acid bacteria and yeasts was the basis of robust, scalable, probiotic, lactose-free dairy and a key technological advance that introduced economic benefits of extensive herding into a semi-pastoral household of the Eastern Eurasia population already in the Early Bronze Age. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Li C.,Jilin University | Li H.,Jilin University | Cui Y.,Jilin University | Xie C.,Jilin University | And 9 more authors.
BMC Biology | Year: 2010

Background: The Tarim Basin, located on the ancient Silk Road, played a very important role in the history of human migration and cultural communications between the West and the East. However, both the exact period at which the relevant events occurred and the origins of the people in the area remain very obscure. In this paper, we present data from the analyses of both Y chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) derived from human remains excavated from the Xiaohe cemetery, the oldest archeological site with human remains discovered in the Tarim Basin thus far.Results: Mitochondrial DNA analysis showed that the Xiaohe people carried both the East Eurasian haplogroup (C) and the West Eurasian haplogroups (H and K), whereas Y chromosomal DNA analysis revealed only the West Eurasian haplogroup R1a1a in the male individuals.Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that the Xiaohe people were an admixture from populations originating from both the West and the East, implying that the Tarim Basin had been occupied by an admixed population since the early Bronze Age. To our knowledge, this is the earliest genetic evidence of an admixed population settled in the Tarim Basin. © 2010 Li et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


PubMed | Jilin University, Fudan University and Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of human genetics | Year: 2016

The complete mitochondrial genome of one 700-year-old individual found in Tashkurgan, Xinjiang was target enriched and sequenced in order to shed light on the population history of Tashkurgan and determine the phylogenetic relationship of haplogroup U5a. The ancient sample was assigned to a subclade of haplogroup U5a2a1, which is defined by two rare and stable transversions at 16114A and 13928C. Phylogenetic analysis shows a distribution pattern for U5a2a that is indicative of an origin in the Volga-Ural region and exhibits a clear eastward geographical expansion that correlates with the pastoral culture also entering the Eurasian steppe. The haplogroup U5a2a present in the ancient Tashkurgan individual reveals prehistoric migration in the East Pamir by pastoralists. This study shows that studying an ancient mitochondrial genome is a useful approach for studying the evolutionary process and population history of Eastern Pamir.


Li J.-F.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Abuduresule I.,Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute | Hueber F.M.,Smithsonian Institution | Li W.-Y.,Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Palynomorphs extracted from the mud coffins and plant remains preserved at the archaeological site of Xiaohe Cemetery (Cal. 3980 to 3540 years BP) in Lop Nur Desert of Xinjiang, China were investigated for the reconstruction of the ancient environments at the site. The results demonstrate that the Xiaohe People lived at a well-developed oasis, which was surrounded by extensive desert. The vegetation in the oasis consisted of Populus, Phragmites, Typha and probably of Gramineae, while the desert surrounding the oasis had some common drought-resistant plants dominated by Ephedra, Tamarix, Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae. This present work provides the first data of the environmental background at this site for further archaeological investigation. © 2013 Li et al.


Rao H.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Rao H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2015

With the emergence and progress of composite tools in the Middle Stone Age, the adhesive became one of the most widely used materials by early human societies. However, the precise composition identification of adhesive in archaeological remains is a real analytical challenge, because the adhesive mainly consists of organic materials that are susceptible to decay during burial process. Of particular interest is to know which animal/plant species were being exploited for glue manufacturing other than for food. The arid climate of the Xiaohe Cemetery, located in Taklamakan Desert, northwestern China, provides favorable conditions for the preservation of organic residues. A bone sculpture-inlaid wooden artifact was collected from the Xiaohe Cemetery, with some semi-transparent yellowish adhesive exposed due to the detachment of an inlaid bone sculpture. In this paper, micro samples of the adhesive were scraped for FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, primary examination) and subsequent proteomic analysis to determine the proteinous component(s) and precise origin(s). The identified tryptic peptides match most closely to known bovine collagen markers, suggesting that this adhesive was an animal glue made from cattle. These results reveal the diverse utilizations of cattle in the Xiaohe Cemetery, which provided not only meat, milk, hides, sinews and dung, but also leftover parts for manufacturing adhesive. This is the earliest evidence of adhesive identified in China up to our knowledge, which sheds light on adhesive development around 3500 years ago. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Shevchenko A.,MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Knaust A.,MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2014

We report on the geLC-MS/MS proteomics analysis of cereals and cereal food excavated in Subeixi cemetery (500-300. BC) in Xinjiang, China. Proteomics provided direct evidence that at the Subexi sourdough bread was made from barley and broomcorn millet by leavening with a renewable starter comprising baker's yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The baking recipe and flour composition indicated that barley and millet bread belonged to the staple food already in the first millennium BC and suggested the role of Turpan basin as a major route for cultural communication between Western and Eastern Eurasia in antiquity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms. Biological significance: We demonstrate that organic residues of thousand year old foods unearthed by archeological excavations can be analyzed by geLC-MS/MS proteomics with good representation of protein source organisms and coverage of sequences of identified proteins. In-depth look into the foods proteome identifies the food type and its individual ingredients, reveals ancient food processing technologies, projects their social and economic impact and provides evidence of intercultural communication between ancient populations. Proteomics analysis of ancient organic residues is direct, quantitative and informative and therefore has the potential to develop into a valuable, generally applicable tool in archaeometry. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms. © 2013.


PubMed | University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Cosmetics have been studied for a long time in the society and culture research, and its consumption is regarded as a cultural symbol of human society. This paper focuses on the analysis of the red cosmetic sticks, found in Xiaohe Cemetery (1980-1450BC), Xinjiang, China. The structure of the red cosmetic sticks was disclosed by SR-CT scanning (Synchrotron Radiation Micro-computed Tomography), while the chemical components were characterized by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), Raman Spectroscopy and Proteomics. The results suggested that the cosmetic sticks were made from the cattle heart and covered with a layer of hematite powders as the pigment. Given the numerous red painted relics in Xiaohe Cemetery, this kind of cosmetic sticks might be used as a primitive form of crayon for makeup and painting. The usage of cattle hearts as cosmetic sticks is firstly reported up to our knowledge, which not only reveals the varied utilizations of cattle in Xiaohe Cemetery but also shows the distinctive religious function. Furthermore, these red cosmetic sticks were usually buried with women, implying that the woman may be the painter and play a special role in religious activities.


PubMed | MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Type: | Journal: Journal of proteomics | Year: 2014

We report on the geLC-MS/MS proteomics analysis of cereals and cereal food excavated in Subeixi cemetery (500-300BC) in Xinjiang, China. Proteomics provided direct evidence that at the Subexi sourdough bread was made from barley and broomcorn millet by leavening with a renewable starter comprising bakers yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The baking recipe and flour composition indicated that barley and millet bread belonged to the staple food already in the first millennium BC and suggested the role of Turpan basin as a major route for cultural communication between Western and Eastern Eurasia in antiquity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms.We demonstrate that organic residues of thousand year old foods unearthed by archeological excavations can be analyzed by geLC-MS/MS proteomics with good representation of protein source organisms and coverage of sequences of identified proteins. In-depth look into the foods proteome identifies the food type and its individual ingredients, reveals ancient food processing technologies, projects their social and economic impact and provides evidence of intercultural communication between ancient populations. Proteomics analysis of ancient organic residues is direct, quantitative and informative and therefore has the potential to develop into a valuable, generally applicable tool in archaeometry. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms.

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