Micromorphology and isotopic geochemistry of the Yangguanzhai moat deposit

Author(s): Mathew Fox; Jennifer Kielhofer; Ye Wa

Year: 2017


Geoarchaeological research conducted at the Yangguanzhai Site was tasked with identifying the composition and formation processes associated with one of the most striking features of the site, the Yangguanzhai "moat." Originally, it was hypothesized that this moat was filled with thick packages of ash related to the manufacturing of pottery at the site. Therefore, micromorphology and isotopic geochemistry were employed to further examine moat sediments. Samples collected from the moat have δ13C values that range from -12.90‰ to -5.17‰ and δ18O values from -11.41‰ to -8.72‰. Thirteen out of the seventeen samples have isotopic values that are identical to bulk soil carbonates. This indicates that most of the sediment is natural. Only two samples have isotopic values that are positively correlated and fall on an ash regression line. Micromorphology of the sediment is also in good agreement with the isotopic results. A majority of the sediment is composed of either soil/loess aggregates, or the inedible fraction of plants and animals. Diagnostic aggregates of micritic calcite (ash) were accurately identified, but are found in isolation and represent <2-3% of the deposit. Our results suggest that the Yangguanzhai moat was largely filled in by localized colluviation and the dumping of refuse.

Cite this Record

Micromorphology and isotopic geochemistry of the Yangguanzhai moat deposit. Mathew Fox, Jennifer Kielhofer, Ye Wa. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429761)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15621