Recent Advances in Chinese Zooarchaeology

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Faunal remains have become important materials unearthed from archaeological excavations in China. Zooarchaeological data could provide much information of human-animal interactions in the past, such as animal trading and exploitation, utilization and domestication. New studies on those recovered faunal remains have used a variety of analytical methods such as morphological measurements, pathological examination, age structure profiling, sex ratio reconstruction, isotopic analysis and DNA research to target many different questions. This session provides a platform to showcase some of these new studies from China and to demonstrate the power of using new methods to examine old bones for the study of human-animal interactive history of the past in China.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-15 of 15)

  • Documents (15)

  • Abnormalies of Horse Vertebrae from Xigou Site and Shirenzigou Site in Xinjiang (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yue Li. Yue You. Yiting Liu. Nuo Xu. Jianxin Wang.

    This research examines seven horse skeletons unearthed from the burials and sacrificial pits of the late Warring States Period to the early Western Han Dynasty at the Shirenzigou and Xigou sites in Xinjiang. Vertebrae were observed for lesions such as hyperostosis, asymmetry, spinal fusion, horizontal fractures on epiphyses, and dorsal inter-pressing or joining of the vertebrae. Because the abnormalities are similar to those identified as the result of horseback riding in archaeological research...

  • Analysis of the Faunal Remains at Shangjing city site, Inner Mongolia (2013 excavation) (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yu Han.

    The Shangjing city site is located on the boundary between agricultural and herding subsistence economies in the Western Liao River Basin, eastern Inner Mongolia. The site was used as the Upper capital in the Liao Dynasty (A.D 916 - A.D. 1125) and the Northern capital city in the Jin Dynasty (A.D. 1115 - A.D. 1234). In 2013, several burials in the Liao and Jin Periods were unearthed, and more than 36,000 faunal remains, including bones and teeth, were collected systematically. Although Liao and...

  • Ancient DNA analysis of early Neolithic cattle from Houtaomuga site, Northern China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dawei Cai. Quanjia Chen. Hui Zhou. Dongya Y Yang.

    The Houtaomuga site is located on the east bank of Xinhuangpao Lake, in Da'an County, Jilin Province, Northeast China. According to the archaeological excavations, the Houtaomuga site can be divided into seven phases from the early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age (8000-2050 BP). Although many Bos skeletal remains were found in the phases Houtaomuga III (6300-5500 cal. BP) and Houtaomuga IV (5000 cal. BP), it was very difficult to identify to the species level. In this study, ancient DNA...

  • Ancient DNA Studies of Domesticated Cattle in Northern China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Xin Zhao. Dongya Yang. Jing Yuan. Xiaoling Dong. Hui Zhou.

    This study aims to use ancient DNA techniques to characterize the genetic features of ancient domesticated cattle in order to trace the origin and spread of cattle in ancient China from eight Late Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in Northern China. DNA was successfully extracted from ancient cattle bone or tooth samples in dedicated ancient DNA labs following vigorous protocols for contamination controls. This study was focused on amplifying mitochondrial D-loop using standard PCR techniques....

  • Archaeological Study of Ostrich Eggshell Beads Collected from Shuidonggou (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chunxue Wang. Quanchao Zhang. Yao Li. Ningning Liang. Xing Gao.

    Ostrich eggshell beads and fragments collected from Shuidonggou (SDG) reflect primordial art and symbolic behavior of modern humans. Based on stratigraphic data and OSL dating, these ostrich eggshell beads probably date to the Early Holocene ( 10 ka BP). Two different prehistoric manufacturing pathways are usually used in the manufacture of ostrich eggshell beads in the Upper Paleolithic. According to statistical analyses of the characteristics of ostrich eggshell beads, Pathway 1 is identified...

  • Identification of Adhesive on Bone-Handled Microblades from the Houtaomuga Site in Northeast China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shaowu Lyu. Chunxue Wang. Quanchao Zhang. Lixin Wang. Ningning Liang.

    With the emergence and development of composite tools in the Upper Paleolithic, adhesives became one of the most widely used materials by early human societies. Of particular interest is to know which animal/plant species were being exploited for glue manufacturing. The Houtaomuga site, located in northeast China, provides favorable materials for the identification of organic residues; and a few bone-handled microblades were collected from this site. In this study, we scraped micro adhesive...

  • Mass Procurement and Feasting at Houtaomuga site, Northeast of China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Zhe Zhang.

    Houtaomuga is a late Neolithic site located in the northeast of China. A special feature G2 has produced a large sample of aurochs (Bos primigenius) skeletal remains. Examination of the assemblage in G2, including bone quantity, surface modification and mortality profile suggests a site of mass aurochs procurement that took place during late summer to fall. Feasting is suggested to be a likely reason that could lead to this mass deposition.

  • New observations on antlers from Chu tombs (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yunbing Luo.

    Lacquered artifacts unearthed from Chu state tombs represent the highest achievements of the lacquer industry in the Eastern-Zhou period (770BC-221BC). Antlers form an important part of several typical Lacquered wood-wares unearthed from large and medium-sized Chu Tombs. Antler-wares mainly belong to three categories: (1) tomb-protecting beast (with two or four antlers inserted on the head), (2) lacquered wooden flying birds with tiger-shaped bases (with two antlers inserted on the bird waist),...

  • Preliminary Faunal Analysis of Qijiaping, Gansu Province (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Katherine Brunson. Lele Ren. Jada Ko.

    Qijiaping in Guanghe County, Gansu Province is the type site for the Bronze Age Qijia Culture (ca. 2200-1600 BC). In July of 2016, the Tao River Archaeological Project began small-scale excavations at Qijiaping. We present a preliminary analysis of the faunal remains uncovered during these excavations. Pigs and sheep were the most commonly identified specimens. Additional identified taxa include large bovines (probably domestic cattle), dog, deer, small rodents, and an unidentified wild bovid....

  • Preliminary Research on the Bone, Antler, and Tooth Artifacts from Haminmangha Site, Inner Mongolia (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Quanjia Chen. Jun Chen. Ping Ji. Chunxue Wang. Yonggang Zhu.

    The Haminmangha Neolithic site is located at Horqin Left Wulat Middle Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and dates back to 5500-5000 BP according to radiocarbon dating results. More than 100 bone, antler and tooth artifacts were unearthed from Haminmangha. These artifacts include stone knives with bone handles, bone darts, arrowheads, needle cylinders, needles, daggers, awls, and hairpins, horn, antler awls and borers, tooth ornaments and other bone and antler materials. According to the...

  • Research on faunal remains at Geduijing site, Muping, Shandong Province (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yanbo Song. Zebing Wang.

    Animal remains excavated from Geduiding can be divided into two stages: (1) the earlier (5925-5880BP) and (2) later (5880-5530BP) periods of the Early Dawenkou Culture. In both stages, identified animals include: mollusk, fish, amphibian, bird, deer, dog, pig, raccoon dog, rabbit and rodent. Crab and sand badger are also found in the later period. The identified fauna indicate that the environment around the site did not change much in the few hundred years between the early and later periods....

  • Research on Faunal Remains from the 2012-2013 Season Excavation at the Shimao Site in Shenmu, Shaanxi (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Songmei Hu. Miaomiao Yang. Zhouyong Sun. Jing Sun.

    In 2012-2013, a large number of faunal remains were unearthed from the Shimao site in Shenmu county, northern Shaanxi Province, China. All of these faunal remains were collected scientifically according to archaeological units and were carefully classified, measured and identified. The results of sorting and analysis indicates that there are at least 15 species including the Yangtze alligator, pheasant, rat, Myospalax fontanieri, Myospalax cansus, rabbit, dog, horse, domestic pig, goat, sheep...

  • Study on the subsistence of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age China using published mammal records (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chong Yu.

    This research is based on all published zooarchaeological study on Chinese Neolithic and Early Neolithic sites and mainly focuses on the animal subsistence economy in the same period. With the advent of quantitative analysis, refined models can now be built and analyzed from all the published data. The application of big data studies on animal remains provided information of range and relative importance of taxa and their possible change through time-scale and region which may reflect an ancient...

  • Zooarchaeological and Genetic Evidence for the Origins of Domestic Cattle in Ancient China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Peng Lyu. Katherine Brunson. Jing Yuan. Zhipeng Li.

    This paper reviews current evidence for the origins of domestic cattle in China. We describe two possible scenarios: 1) domestic cattle were domesticated indigenously in East Asia from the wild aurochs (Bos primigenius), and 2) domestic cattle were domesticated elsewhere and then introduced to China. We conclude that the current zooarchaeological and genetic evidence does not support indigenous domestication within China, although it is possible that people experimented with managing wild...

  • Zooarchaeological Research of Oracle Bones from Lower Xiajiadian Culture (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yayi Wang. Quanjia Chen. Chunxue Wang.

    Lower Xiajiadian Culture is an early Bronze Age archaeological culture (4,000 BP) in Northern China, located at western Liaoning and southeastern Inner Mongolia. This study explores two different kinds of oracle bones from this cultural period: (1) made of cattle scapular was thought to have been burnt in divination and (2) bone of a mid- to large-sized mammal hoof,thrown during divination. The latter has been scarcely mentioned in the previous research and has not usually been treated as an...