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Understanding socioeconomic inequality is fundamental for studies of societal development in European prehistory. This article presents dietary (δ13C and δ15N) isotope values for human and animal bone collagen from Early Neolithic Osłonki 1 in north-central Poland (c. 4600–4100 cal BC). A new series of AMS radiocarbon determinations show that, of individuals interred at the same time, those with copper artefacts exhibit significantly higher δ13C values than those without. The authors’ results suggest a link between high-status goods and intra-community differences in diet and/or preferential access to the agropastoral landscape.
This chapter explores the development of agrarian societies in Japan and considers the way in which the relationship between rice farming and other foodways contributed to the broader social and cultural developments in the archipelago up to 500 CE. The study of the history of Japanese agriculture has focused on the cultivation of these potential staple plant foods. Domesticated animals played only a limited role in Japanese farming. The chapter discusses the origin and development of rice cultivation in Japan, while reviewing the evidence for the cultivation of other kinds of plant food. Yayoi culture, based on rice farming, is often regarded as replacing the hunter-gatherer, aboriginal, Jomon cultures that preceded it, cultures that are traditionally not regarded as directly ancestral to present-day Japanese. The defences at many later Yayoi settlements, and the move to upland locations, indicate raiding and fighting.
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