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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 January 2016

Weimiao Dong
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.
Cheng-Bang An
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.
Wenjie Fan
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.
Hu Li
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.
Xueye Zhao
Affiliation:
Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 830011, China.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2016 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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