Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Stable Isotopic Detection of Manual Intervention Among the Faunal Assemblage from a Majiayao Site in NW China

  • Weimiao Dong (a1), Cheng-Bang An (a1), Wenjie Fan (a1), Hu Li (a1) and Xueye Zhao (a2)...

Abstract

Faunal remains from Shannashuzha in Minxian County, Gansu Province, China were isotopically analyzed to understand animal husbandry, and thus human subsistence strategy, during the Majiayao culture (5200–4800 cal yr BP) period. Stable carbon isotopic results reveal that only two pig samples clearly show a C4-dominated diet with a mean δ13C value of –8.5‰, which possibly indicated controlled feeding practices by human beings. No other significant manual intervention can be observed among the remaining samples, suggesting that both wild and domesticated meat sources were used at Shannashuzha. Statistically, Bos are indistinguishable from Cervidae based solely on isotopic results, suggesting that Bos may have remained in wild form during the Majiayao culture period. The presence of hare/rabbit, bamboo rat, and badger reflects the diversified food exploitation behavior.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: cban@lzu.edu.cn.

References

Hide All
Ambrose, SH. 1990. Preparation and characterization of bone and tooth collagen for isotopic analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 17(4):431451.
An, CB, Dong, WM, Chen, YF, Li, H, Shi, C, Wang, W, Zhang, PY, Zhao, XY. 2015. Stable isotopic investigations of modern and charred foxtail millet and the implications for environmental archaeological reconstruction in the western Chinese Loess Plateau. Quaternary Research 84(1):144149.
An, ZM. 1999. Neolithic communities in eastern parts of Central Asia. In: Dani AH, Masson VM, editors. Agriculture and the Origins of Civilization Volume 1. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
Atahan, P, Dodson, J, Li, XQ, Zhou, XY, Hu, SM, Bertuch, F, Sun, N. 2011. Subsistence and the isotopic signature of herding in the Bronze Age Hexi Corridor, NW Gansu, China. Journal of Archaeological Science 38(7):17471753.
Barton, L, Newsome, SD, Chen, FH, Wang, H, Guilderson, TP, Bettinger, RL. 2009. Agricultural origins and the isotopic identity of domestication in northern China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106(14):55235528.
Bettinger, RL, Barton, L, Richerson, PJ, Boyd, R, Wang, H, Choi, W. 2007. The transition to agriculture in northwestern China. In: Madsen DB, Gao X, Chen FH, editors. Late Quaternary Climate Change and Human Adaptation in Arid China. Amsterdam: Elsevier. p 83101.
Bettinger, RL, Barton, L, Morgan, C. 2010. The origins of food production in north China: a different kind of agricultural revolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 19(1):921.
Bocherens, H, Drucker, D. 2003. Trophic level isotopic enrichment of carbon and nitrogen in bone collagen: case studies from recent and ancient terrestrial ecosystems. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 13(1–2):4653.
Bocherens, H, Drucker, DG, Billiou, D, Patou-Mathis, M, Vandermeersch, B. 2005. Isotopic evidence for diet and subsistence pattern of the Saint-Césaire I Neanderthal: review and use of a multi-source mixing model. Journal of Human Evolution 49(1):7187.
Chang, K-C. 1986. The Archaeology of Ancient China. 4th edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Chen, FH, Dong, GH, Zhang, DJ, Liu, XY, Jia, X, An, C-B, Ma, MM, Xie, YW, Barton, L, Ren, XY, Zhao, ZJ, Wu, XH, Jones, MK. 2015. Agriculture facilitated permanent human occupation of the Tibetan Plateau after 3600 BP. Science 347(6219):248250.
Crawford, GW. 2009. Agricultural origins in North China pushed back to the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(18):72717272.
d’Alpoim Guedes, J, Lu, HL, Li, YX, Spengler, RN, Wu, XH, Aldenderfer, MS. 2014. Moving agriculture onto the Tibetan plateau: the archaeobotanical evidence. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 6(3):255269.
DeNiro, MJ, Epstein, S. 1978. Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 42(5):495506.
DeNiro, MJ, Epstein, S. 1981. Influence of diet on the distribution of nitrogen isotopes in animals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 45(3):341351.
Diamond, J. 1999. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Diamond, J. 2002. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 418(6898):700707.
Dong, GH, Wang, L, Cui, YF, Elston, R, Chen, FH. 2013. The spatio-temporal pattern of the Majiayao cultural evolution and its relation to climate change and variety of subsistence strategy during late Neolithic period in Gansu and Qinghai Provinces, northwest China. Quaternary International 316:155161.
Eggers, S, Parks, M, Grupe, G, Reinhard, KJ. 2011. Paleoamerican diet, migration and morphology in Brazil: archaeological complexity of the earliest Americans. PloS ONE 6:e23962.
Flad, RK, Yuan, J, Li, SC. 2007. Zooarchaeological evidence for animal domestication in northwest China. In: Madsen DB, Chen FH, Gao X, editors. Late Quaternary Climate Change and Human Adaptation in Arid China. Amsterdam: Elsevier. p 167204.
Fornander, E, Eriksson, G, Lidén, K. 2008. Wild at heart: approaching Pitted Ware identity, economy and cosmology through stable isotopes in skeletal material from the Neolithic site Korsnäs in Eastern Central Sweden. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 27(3):281297.
Fu, QM, Jin, SA, Hu, YW, Ma, Z, Pan, JC, Wang, CS. 2010. Agricultural development and palaeodietary study of Gouwan site, Xichuan, Henan. Chinese Science Bulletin 55(7):614620.
Guan, L, Hu, YW, Hu, SM, Sun, ZY, Qin, Y, Wang, CS. 2008. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of animal bones from Wuzhuangguoliang site, Shaanxi. Quarternary Sciences 28(6):11601165. In Chinese.
Guo, Y, Hu, YW, Gao, Q, Wang, CS, Richards, MP. 2011. Human dietary analysis in Jiangzhai site. Acta Anthropologica Sinica 30:149157. In Chinese.
Hedges, REM, Reynard, LM. 2007. Nitrogen isotopes and the trophic level of humans in archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science 34(8):12401251.
Hu, YW, Luan, FS, Wang, SG, Wang, CS, Richards, MP. 2009. Preliminary attempt to distinguish the domesticated pigs from wild boars by the methods of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 52:8592.
Hu, YW, Hu, SM, Wang, WL, Wu, XH, Marshall, FB, Chen, XL, Hou, LL, Wang, SG. 2014. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111(1):116120.
Hu, ZY. 2015. Research of charred botanical remains from Shannashuzha Site in Gansu Province [Master’s thesis]. Xian: Xibei University. In Chinese.
Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 2010. Chinese Archaeology: Neolithic. Beijing: Chinese Social Sciences Press. p 206269. In Chinese.
Jia, X, Dong, GH, Li, H, Brunson, K, Chen, FH, Ma, MM, Wang, H, An, CB, Zhang, KR. 2013. The development of agriculture and its impact on cultural expansion during the late Neolithic in the Western Loess Plateau, China. The Holocene 23(1):8592.
Jones, MK, Liu, XY. 2009. Origins of agriculture in East Asia. Science 324(5928):730731.
Larson, G, Dobney, K, Albarella, U, Fang, M, Matisoo-Smith, E, Robins, J, Lowden, S, Finlayson, H, Brand, T, Willerslev, E, Rowley-Conwy, P, Andersson, L, Cooper, A. 2005. Worldwide phylogeography of wild boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication. Science 307(5715):16181621.
Ling, X, Chen, L, Xue, XM, Zhao, CC. 2010. Stable isotopic analysis of human bones from the Qingliang temple graveyard, Ruicheng county, Shanxi Province. Acta Anthropologica Sinica 30:415421. In Chinese.
Liu, FG, Zhang, YL, Feng, ZD, Hou, GL, Zhou, Q, Zhang, HF. 2010. The impacts of climate change on the Neolithic cultures of Gansu-Qinghai region during the late Holocene megathermal. Journal of Geographical Sciences 20(3):417430.
Liu, L. 2015. A long process towards agriculture in the middle Yellow River valley, China: evidence from macro- and micro-botanical remains. Journal of Indo-Pacific Archaeology 35:314.
Lu, HY, Zhang, JP, Liu, KB, Wu, NQ, Li, YM, Zhou, KS, Ye, ML, Zhang, TY, Zhang, HJ, Yang, XY, Shen, LC, Xu, DK, Li, Q. 2009. Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10,000 years ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106(18):73677372.
Ma, MM, Dong, GH, Liu, XY, Lightfoot, E, Chen, FH, Wang, H, Li, H, Jones, M. 2014. Stable isotope analysis of human and animal remains at the Qijiaping site in middle Gansu, China. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2379.
Manning, MP, Reid, RC. 1977. C-H-O systems in the presence of an iron catalyst. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 16(3):358361.
O’Connell, TC, Kneale, CJ, Tasevska, N, Kuhnle, GG. 2012. The diet-body offset in human nitrogen isotopic values: a controlled dietary study. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(3):426434.
Pechenkina, E, Ambrose, S, Ma, XL, Benfer, R Jr. 2005. Reconstructing northern Chinese Neolithic subsistence practices by isotopic analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 32(8):11761189.
Price, TD, Burton, JH, Sharer, RJ, Buikstra, JE, Wright, LE, Traxler, LP, Miller, KA. 2010. Kings and commoners at Copan: isotopic evidence for origins and movement in the Classic Maya period. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(1):1532.
Reimer, PJ, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Blackwell, PG, Bronk Ramsey, C, Buck, CE, Cheng, H, Edwards, RL, Friedrich, M, Grootes, PM, Guilderson, TP, Haflidason, H, Hajdas, I, Hatté, C, Heaton, TJ, Hoffmann, DL, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kaiser, KF, Kromer, B, Manning, SW, Niu, M, Reimer, RW, Richards, DA, Scott, EM, Southon, JR, Staff, RA, Turney, CSM, van der Plicht, J. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55(4):18691887.
Richards, MP, Pettitt, PB, Trinkaus, E, Smith, FH, Paunović, M, Karavanić, I. 2000. Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal predation: the evidence from stable isotopes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 97(13):76637666.
Shui, T. 2001. Papers on the Bronze Age Archaeology of Northwest China. Beijing: Science Press. In Chinese.
Stuiver, M, Reimer, PJ. 1993. Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35(1):215230.
Su, BQ, Yin, WZ. 1981. Issue about archaeological types in different regions. Culture Relics 1:1017. In Chinese.
Vavilov, N. 1951. The origin, variation, immunity and breeding of cultivated plants. (translated by K. Starr Chester). Chronica Botanica 13:1366.
Vogel, JS, Southon, JR, Nelson, DE, Brown, TA. 1984. Performance of catalytically condensed carbon for use in accelerator mass spectrometry. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physical Research B 5(2):289293.
Wang, R. 2004. Fishing, farming, and animal husbandry in the early and middle Neolithic of the middle Yellow Valley, China [PhD dissertation]. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois.
White, CD, Healy, PF, Schwarcz, HP. 1993. Intensive agriculture, social status, and Maya diet at Pacbitun, Belize. Journal of Anthropological Research 49(4):347375.
White, CD, Nelson, AJ, Longstaffe, FJ, Grupe, G, Jung, A. 2009. Landscape bioarchaeology at Pacatnamu, Peru: inferring mobility from δ13C and δ15N values of hair. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(7):15271537.
Xie, DJ. 2002. Prehistoric Archaeology of Gansu Province and Qinghai Province. Beijing: Cultural Relics Press. In Chinese.
Yan, WM. 1989. Brief Discussion on the Origin and Development of Yangshao Culture. Research of Yangshao Culture. Beijing: Science Publishing House Press. In Chinese.
Yan, WM. 1992. Origin of Chinese civilization. Culture Relics 1:4049. In Chinese.
Yan, WM. 2009. Research on Yangshao Culture. Beijing: Cultural Relics Press. In Chinese.
Yang, XY, Wan, ZW, Perry, L, Lu, HY, Wang, Q, Zhao, CH, Li, J, Xie, F, Yu, JC, Cui, TX, Wang, T, Li, MQ, Ge, QS. 2012. Early millet use in northern China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(10):37263730.
Yuan, J. 2010. Zooarchaeological study on the domestic animals in ancient China. Quaternary Sciences 30:298306. In Chinese.
Yuan, J, Flad, R. 2002. Pig domestication in ancient China. Antiquity 76(293):724732.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Stable Isotopic Detection of Manual Intervention Among the Faunal Assemblage from a Majiayao Site in NW China

  • Weimiao Dong (a1), Cheng-Bang An (a1), Wenjie Fan (a1), Hu Li (a1) and Xueye Zhao (a2)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.