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Excavations at Tiaotou reveal evidence for cultural continuity through the late third to the mid first millennia BC. This research explores shifts in subsistence, production and ritual at Tiaotou, and the emergence of the Pishan-Tiaotou Culture (1200–1000 BC). Tiaotou/Pishan-Tiaotou represents a missing link among Taihu Lake archaeological cultures and contributes to our knowledge of complex political formations and cultural change in Bronze Age southern China.
Reconstructing the history of elite communication in ancient China benefits from additional archaeological evidence. We combine textual analysis with new human stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data from two Chu burials in the Jingzhou area to reveal significant dietary differences among Chu nobles of the middle Warring States period (c. 350 BC). This research provides important new information on the close interaction between the aristocratic families of the Qin and Chu.
Without rapid international action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists have predicted catastrophic sea-level rise by 2100. Globally, archaeologists are documenting the effects of sea-level rise on coastal cultural heritage. Here, the authors model the impact of 1m, 2m and 5m sea-level rise on China's coastal archaeological sites using data from the Atlas of Chinese Cultural Relics and Shanghai City's Third National Survey of Cultural Relics. Although the resulting number of endangered sites is large, the authors argue that these represent only a fraction of those actually at risk, and they issue a call to mitigate the direct and indirect effects of rising sea levels.
Human influence on ecological niches can drive rapid changes in the diet, behaviour and evolutionary trajectories of small mammals. Archaeological evidence from the Late Neolithic Loess Plateau of northern China suggests that the expansion of millet cultivation created new selective pressures, attracting small mammals to fields and settlements. Here, the authors present direct evidence for commensal behaviour in desert hares (Lepus capensis), dating to c. 4900 years ago. Stable isotope ratio analysis of hare bones from the Neolithic site at Yangjiesha shows a diachronic increase in a C4 (millet-based) diet, revealing, for the first time, the expansion of ancient human-hare interactions beyond the predator-prey relationship.
Excavations at Shichengzi, the probable location of ancient Shule, have revealed diverse burial practices suggesting a population with varied cultural backgrounds. Together with archaeobotanical evidence, this indicates a community of agro-pastoralists and Han Dynasty migrants using diverse cropping patterns to attain self-sufficiency. The project raises interesting questions about the impact of migrations on the identities of inhabitants.
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