Dental Micro-wear Analysis and Diets of Dacaozi Ancient Population in Qinghai, China


Dental microwear analysis (DMA) focuses on the microscopic scratches and pits that formed on a tooth's surface as the result of chewing which is a useful approach to reconstruct the diets of animal species and human ancestors. The aim of this study is to use this new method to reconstruct the diets of the Dacaozi ancient population, whom lived in the ancient interactive region of agricultural and nomadic economy in Qinghai Province, northwest China. Different micro-wear patterns of scratches on the buccal surface indicate different dietary composition. All samples from 17 individuals have been observed at 200X magnification by utilizing the 3D deep field microscope. After scanning and measuring buccal surface micro-wear features, the ratio between the average length of the horizontal scratches and the average length of the vertical scratches (LH/LV) can be calculated. Comparing with other researches, Dacaozi population have a LH/LV ratio of 96.93%, which is similar to Veddas with a LH/LV ratio of 95.78%, who are originally hunter-gatherers living in a tropical forest environment. The results obtained show that people of the Dacaozi cemetery ingested both plant products and animal products which is in accordance with the archaeological researches, historical records and lifestyle in Qinghai nowadays.

Cite this Record

Dental Micro-wear Analysis and Diets of Dacaozi Ancient Population in Qinghai, China. Tao Han, Wenxin Zhang, Xingyu Man Man, Anqi Wang, Xiaofang Gao. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432011)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15735