Farming vs. Herding: Subsistence Practice during the Late Neolithic Evidenced by Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes in Shengedaliang, North Shaanxi, China
In order to explore subsistence patterns in northern Shaanxi Province around 4,000 BP, human and animal bones from the Shimao, Zhaimouliang, Shengedaliang, Huoshiliang, and Muzhuhzuliang sites were sampled for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis. The results show that most people primarily subsisted on C4 resources, e.g. millet and millet-related animal products, despite the fact that there was some intake of C3 plants by some individuals. Stable nitrogen isotope values indicate that there were differences in meat consumption between individuals at the site. Pigs were mainly foddered with millet and millet byproducts, as well as some cattle, according to their high δ13C values. However, the sheep/goats consumed wild C3 plants at those sites. Our above findings indicates that subsistence patterns in northern Shaanxi around 4,000 BP were characterized by millet farming, while the grassland animal husbandry, e.g. cattle and sheep/goats raising, displayed very little contribution to local economy. The intensive millet farming in northern Shaanxi provided enough food for population growth, ensured the accumulation of wealth, and consequently accelerated social differentiation and complexity.
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Farming vs. Herding: Subsistence Practice during the Late Neolithic Evidenced by Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes in Shengedaliang, North Shaanxi, China. XiangLong Chen, ZhouYong Sun, XiaoNing Guo, PengCheng Zhang, SongMei Hu. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432134)
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min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16852