Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology

Urunchi, China

Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology

Urunchi, China
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Xu B.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Xu B.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Gu Z.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Gu Z.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 9 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2017

The discovery of the ancient city of Loulan in Xinjiang, China, at the beginning of the 20th century was of great significance for understanding the evolution of culture and civilization in Inner Asia. However, due to the lack of systematic chronological studies, the history of this ancient city remains unclear, particularly the date of its construction and abandonment. Here, we present the results of the first systematic radiocarbon (14C) dating carried out on artifacts from ancient Loulan. Our results show that human activity began as early as 350 cal BC, flourished during the interval from the 1st to 4th centuries AD, and completely disappeared around 600 AD. Most of the buildings in the city were constructed during the Eastern Han Dynasty rather than in Wei/Jin Dynasty, as previously indicated by excavated documents and letters (Hedin 1898; Xiao 2006). The development and flourishing of Loulan coincided with the interval of high ice accumulation and meltwater supply from surrounding mountains. The city began to decline and was finally abandoned following an abrupt decrease in ice accumulation and meltwater supply (Yao et al. 1996; Lauterbach et al. 2014), suggesting that natural climate change was the major factor responsible for the abandonment of Loulan. © 2017 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

Zheng H.P.,CAS Shanghai Advanced Research Institute | Zheng H.P.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zheng H.P.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Jiang H.E.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Archaeometry | Year: 2015

Visible food remains can provide evidence regarding ancient food processing, the spread of cereals and cultural communication. Some desiccated food remains were discovered in the Yanghai Tombs, Turpan district, in Xinjiang, China (2600-2900 bp). These food remains were analysed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy combined with plant microfossils, including starch grains and cross cells of pericarp from the cereal bran fragments. The results showed that these food remains were cooked dough food made from wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum spp.). The cross-sections of these remains look very dense, not porous under a microscope, which suggests that no fermentation had happened, so these foodstuffs may be some kind of flatbread. Although wheat and barley had been introduced into China by at least the third millennium bc, these remains are still the earliest known direct evidence that wheat and barley were ground into flour and then processed as foodstuffs in north-western China. © 2014 University of Oxford.

Jiang H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Jiang H.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wu Y.,Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology | Wang H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2013

Archaeobotanical studies were undertaken at the Yuergou site, which is located in the Turpan basin in Xinjiang, China, and which has been dated to around 2300-2400 years b. p. Altogether 21 taxa were identified. Four cereal remains were identified, Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare var. coeleste, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica. The first three were probably cultivated while the last one may not have been grown deliberately, but probably grew together with plants of P. miliaceum. A fruit stone of Ziziphus jujuba (Chinese date) was discovered, which showed that this may have been cultivated around the site during that time. Charcoal of Picea sp. was found, from wood which must have been used as fuel by the indigenous people. Fifteen taxa of wild plants were also identified, most of which can be considered as weeds, and which grew near the site. Burs of Xanthium strumarium were discovered. As nearly all of them were broken, the seeds may have been used by the ancient inhabitants. Since most of the cereal remains consisted of chaff, they must represent by-products. Furthermore, grains of Echinochloa crus-galli may also have been exploited as complementary food resources. All the above indicate that both cultivated and wild plants were used for cereals, fuel, or other purposes, and plant resources played important roles in the daily life of the ancient inhabitants of the Yuergou site. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Cao Q.,Henan Institute of Engineering | Wang L.,Henan Institute of Engineering | Li W.,Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2011

The utilization of some special animal fibers including cashmere, yak hair, camel hair, rabbit hair and feathers is illustrated by literature and the archaeological discoveries. The utilization of cashmere, yak hair and camel hair can be traced back to about 4000 years ago or even earlier; rabbit hair textiles were produced in Tang Dynasty; feathers have been utilized in textiles since Spring and Autumn period, and feather fabrics prevailed from Tang Dynasty until Ming and Qing Dynasty. The spinning technology of special animal fibers and the structure and processing of threads reproduced from peacock feathers were analyzed. © (2011) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Yang R.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang R.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2014

The Xiaohe Cemetery, a typical remnant of the famous bronze-age Xiaohe culture, is located in the Lop Nur region of Xinjiang, which is one of the driest regions in China. Several excavations were conducted and cereal remains discovered in the tombs were evaluated to better understand the living conditions of this ancient civilization. Three types of cereals were identified: viz. florets of common millet (Panicum miliaceum), caryopses of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and love grass (Eragrostis sp.). The grains of Eragrostis sp. were deduced to be utilized in different ways, such as a food resource and/or as fodder for cattle feeding. All three cereal crops provided clues about the vegetable diet as well as shed light on the understanding of the Xiaohe culture. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Gong Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Ferguson D.K.,University of Vienna | Tao D.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2011

Ancient foodstuffs, including noodles, cakes, and common millet, were excavated from the Subeixi Cemeteries (cal. 500-300 years BC), Turpan District in Xinjiang, China. Starch grain and phytolith analyses were undertaken to identify the plant species involved. These indicate that the noodles and cakes were made from Panicum miliaceum. Ancient food preparation technologies were also investigated by cooking experiments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Hong C.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Hong C.,Graduate University | Jiang H.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Jiang H.,Graduate University | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Proteomic approaches based on mass spectrometry have been recently used in archaeological and art researches, generating promising results for protein identification. Little information is known about eastward spread and eastern limits of prehistoric milking in eastern Eurasia. Methodology/Principal Finding: In this paper, an ancient visible food remain from Subeixi Cemeteries (cal. 500 to 300 years BC) of the Turpan Basin in Xinjiang, China, preliminarily determined containing 0.432 mg/kg cattle casein with ELISA, was analyzed by using an improved method based on liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS to further identify protein origin. The specific sequence of bovine casein and the homology sequence of goat/sheep casein were identified. Conclusions/Significance: The existence of milk component in ancient food implies goat/sheep and cattle milking in ancient Subeixi region, the furthest eastern location of prehistoric milking in the Old World up to date. It is envisioned that this work provides a new approach for ancient residue analysis and other archaeometry field. © 2012 Hong et al.

Jiang H.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Jiang H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhang Y.,Turpania Academia | Lu E.,Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology | And 2 more authors.
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2014

The Shengjindian cemeteries, Xinjiang, China, were discovered during the construction of a road in 2007, following which a salvage archaeological excavation was performed. Systemic archaeobotanical studies were applied to the plant remains, which were radiocarbon dated to 2,400–2,000 bp (about 500 bc–1 bc/ad). Altogether 33 taxa were identified. Five species of cereal remains were discovered, viz. Triticum aestivum, Panicum miliaceum, Hordeum vulgare, H. vulgare var. coeleste, as well as Setaria italica. The extent of the finds suggested that all of them were cultivated locally at that time. There were 38 fragments of grape seeds discovered within three tombs, which suggested occasional fruit cultivation by the indigenous people. Wild plants like reed and bulrush were also utilized by the ancient people in mat and thread making. The seed of Capparis spinosa may have been utilized for its medicinal and/or oil value. All of the above suggested that plants played important roles in the daily life of the ancient people buried in the Shengjindian cemetery. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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