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Ancient Human Herbivorous Diet Reflected by the Analysis of Starch Grains from the Xijincheng Site, Bo'ai county, Henan province, China

Author(s): Dong Li ; Qiang Wang ; Mingqi Li ; Qing Wang ; Xiaoyan Yang

Year: 2015

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Summary

The analysis of starch grains from the Xijincheng site showed that most of the starch was from barley (Hordeum spp.) which accounted for about 70% of the total starch grains. Other starches included foxtail millet (Setaria italica), broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), sorghum (Sorghum spp.) and a small amount of starch grains from Leguminosaes and root tuber plants. Combined with the analytical results of carbonized remains, we conclude that ancient Xijincheng people adopted the pattern of utilizing a combination of mixed crop farming along with some gathering. The discovery of abundant Hordeum spp. starch grains demonstrates that the ancient occupants of the Central Plains began to use this kind of plant beginning as early as 4000 B.P. during the Longshan Culture period. This is of great significance to the research concerning the origin, evolution and diffusion of Hordeum spp. in China. In summary, we found that the results of the starch (microfossil) results differed from carbonized (macrofossil) results and we present explanations as to why these two methods can cause different results.

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Ancient Human Herbivorous Diet Reflected by the Analysis of Starch Grains from the Xijincheng Site, Bo'ai county, Henan province, China. Qiang Wang, Dong Li, Qing Wang, Mingqi Li, Xiaoyan Yang. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397039)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America