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Starch Grain Analysis of Human Dental Calculus from Guanzhuang Site, Henan Province

Author(s): Tao Dawei

Year: 2017

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Summary

This research aims to investigate the human foodstuffs and lifestyle during the Western and Eastern Zhou Dynasties in the core area of the Central Plains using starch grain analysis of human dental calculus. Plant microfossils, starch grains and phytoliths, which were found in most of calculus samples from Guanzhuang site, were from millets, bread wheat, rice, adzuki, tubers and acorns.

Diversity of starch grains and phytoliths in morphological characteristics extracted from dental calculus indicates that a variety of starchy plants, including crops and gathered plants were consumed by the Guanzhuang inhabitants. Millets were dominant in the human diet of the Guanzhuang site; and bread wheat was of secondary importance. Combined with the macrobotanical evidences from Guanzhuang and other neighboring sites, the traditional millet agricultural system still existed in the core area of the Central Plains while the multiple cropping system had emerged in this region. In the meantime, the importance of bread wheat increased in the agricultural system and the change in the cropping system from millet-dominant to bread wheat-dominant come up during the Western and Eastern Zhou Dynasties.


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Starch Grain Analysis of Human Dental Calculus from Guanzhuang Site, Henan Province. Tao Dawei. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432129)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16995

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