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Qiu Z.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Qiu Z.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Yang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 13 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Well preserved Early Bronze Age cow dung in Xinjiang provides a unique opportunity to investigate important issues concerning environment, landscape, and livestock at about 3.4-3.7ka in northwestern China. In this study, pollen and phytolith analyses, in conjunction with identification of macrofossil plant remains in the cow dung were carried out. Seeds, plant fragments, pollen and phytoliths extracted from four cow pies from the Xiaohe Cemetery indicate that the area was a typical oasis, where reeds (Phragmites australis), lovegrass (Eragrostis), and Aster-type Asteraceae probably served as the main cattle feed. Xerophilous taxa, such as Chenopodiaceae and Artemisia, were present as well. The paleo-diet of these cattle mainly consisted of C3 plants, accompanied by small numbers of C4 plants. Archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence reveals that the environmental conditions of ancient Xiaohe and the surrounding area were very different to that of the present day, surrounded by desert. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Zhang F.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Zhang F.,Xinjiang University | Wang T.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Yimit H.,Xinjiang Normal University | And 4 more authors.
Science China Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

Over one hundred artifacts, including shards, chopped wood, bronze and iron ware debris as well as footprints, have been discovered during archaeological investigations at and around the central Taklamakan Desert Yuansha Site (38°52′N, 81°35′E). Dating (14C and OSL) and landform study show that the present-day dry Keriya River once sustained an oasis human settlement in 2. 6 ka BP, historically falling into the Spring and Autumn Period (716-475 BCE) of Chinese history. The chronology and archaeological interpretations also show that some 400 years later, the local Keriya River channel had shifted 40 km southeast to sustain a Western Han (206 BCE-25 CE) Wumi settlement at the Karadun site. In the meantime, river-channel migration had allowed reoccupation of a site west of Yuansha City around 1. 9 ka BP (abandoned again by 1. 6 ka BP). The remains' chronology shows that this site was affiliated to Wumi culture and Eastern Han (24-220 CE) dynasty rule. Palaeoclimatic records indicate that the migrations of the river and oasis settlers between 2. 7 and 1. 6 ka BP were coeval with Central Asian climate changes. Yuansha City was built just after the end of 2. 8 ka BP glacier advances in western China, suggesting that release of more water during the subsequent glacier recession may have facilitated oasis development such that Iron Age European peoples could settle in the Tarim Basin. As shown from analysis of archeological remains, not only at Yuansha but also in other ancient cities in the Tarim such as Loulan and Jingjue (Niya), conditions around 1. 6 ka BP were dry enough to cause oasis decline. Thus, the results reported here enhance our knowledge about environmental changes and their effects on human activities and cultural evolution in western China and will stimulate further interdisciplinary studies of landscape and oasis history in the Tarim Basin. © 2011 Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Chen T.,Taiyuan University of Technology | Chen T.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang X.,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography | Dai J.,National Library of China | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

The Yingpan cemetery is situated in the Lop Nor region of the Tarim Basin in southern Xinjiang, China, and it has been dated to the Eastern Han and Jin dynasties (∼25-420 AD). Macrofossil and microfossil analyses were undertaken to investigate the associated plant and food remains. The results indicated that the principal cereal crops of Yingpan people were . Panicum miliaceum, . Triticum aestivum, and . Hordeum vulgare var. . coeleste, moreover flour of . Triticum aestivum was also processed into cakes. Meanwhile, plant remains of . Vitis vinifera suggested grape cultivation and utilization in this region. Apart from the agricultural and horticultural remains, two taxa of wild plants were also identified. This study presents the first systematic archaeobotanical data about the cereal cultivation and plant utilization in ancient Xinjiang during the Eastern Han and Jin dynasties in the Tarim Basin. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Liu S.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Optics and fine Mechanics | Li Q.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Optics and fine Mechanics | Gan F.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Optics and fine Mechanics | Gan F.,Fudan University | Zhang P.,Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology
X-Ray Spectrometry | Year: 2011

In this article, a portable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer having determination capability for elements of Na and Mg is applied to characterization of the 58 ancient glass vessels fragments found in Xinjiang, China, successfully. These ancient glass samples were found in different historical sites dated from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) to early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 A.D.). The chemical composition difference between the original weathered and inner fresh surfaces is distinguished. Using Mg, Ca, Al and K as the diagnostic elements, the glass samples analyzed are mainly classified into three types through cluster analysis. Each type of glass seems to be produced under different recipes. The techniques used to make these glasses and their possible provenances are discussed briefly. The obtained results provide new useful information for further understanding of the exchange and trade networks related to early glasses found in Xinjiang, China. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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