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The diet and subsistence system of Yuan-Shan People in Taiwan

Author(s): Cheng-Yi Lee ; Peter Ditchfield ; Maa-Ling Chen ; Ching-Hua Lo ; Mark Pollard

Year: 2015

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Summary

Carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of human bone collagen (n=5) were analyzed to discover the paleodiet of Neolithic people of Yuan-Shan (YS) Culture, in northern Taiwan. A local isotope baseline was constructed by 71 faunal samples. Four inferences are drawn: (1) pigs share similar isotope compositions with deer, which indicates they were herbivores rather than omnivores. It had a great possibility that the pigs were raised by human and we suggest that C3 plant was used as pig’s feed based on their δ13C values. (2) The main food resources consumed by YS people were local herbivore, which is revealed by the difference in δ15N values between human and herbivores (Δ15Nhuamn-herbivore). (3) Rice grain had been found in YS site, suggesting the rice as their main crop; however, the isotope data doesn’t seem to support the suggestion (Δ15Nhuman-herbivore > 4‰). One possible explanation is that the cereal grains had intrinsic higher δ15N value than that of herbivore’s feeds or grasses, or the grain’s δ15N value was affected by manuring. (4) The aquatic resources were also consumed by YS people, though in small quantity. Middens indicated another aquatic food, but we have had no isotopic compositions of shellfish soft tissue so far.

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The diet and subsistence system of Yuan-Shan People in Taiwan. Cheng-Yi Lee, Maa-Ling Chen, Peter Ditchfield, Mark Pollard, Ching-Hua Lo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397368)


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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