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Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Rice origins and cultural history
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Cell - Modeling Recent Human Evolution in Mice by Expression of a Selected EDAR Variant

Cell - Modeling Recent Human Evolution in Mice by Expression of a Selected EDAR Variant | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Selected East Asian EDAR allele, 370A, emerged in central China ∼30,000 years ago
Hair, sweat, and mammary glands are altered in a 370A knockin mouse model
The novel effect of 370A on mouse sweat gland density is recapitulated in humans

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, February 19, 2013 8:08 AM

An unusal extension to the earchaeobotany of rice, perhaps, but the geographical and demographic modelling in this paper needed to take into account the demographic impact of the transition to farming, so our Rice Project database was used to frame the local transition farming across much of Asia. The demographic boom of rice then accounts for this mutation in humans surfing to dominance in East Asia after a much earlier (30,000 year old) initial mutation (which may have been adpative in the dry Pleistocene).

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Holocene vegetational and climatic variation in westerly-dominated areas of Central Asia inferred from the Sayram Lake in northern Xinjiang, China - Springer

Holocene vegetational and climatic variation in westerly-dominated areas of Central Asia inferred from the Sayram Lake in northern Xinjiang, China - Springer | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Changes in the vegetation and climate of the westerly-dominated areas in Central Asia during the Holocene were interpreted using pollen-assemblages and charcoal data from a 300-cm-long sediment core of the Sayram Lake, northern Xinjiang. Accele-rator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating methods were applied to bulk organic matter of the samples. Artemisia spp./Chenopodiaceae ratios and results from principal component analysis were used to infer that the lake basin was dominated by desert vegetation before ca. 9.6 cal. ka BP, which suggests a warm and dry climate in the early Holocene. Desert steppe/steppe expanded during 9.6-5.5 cal. ka BP, indicating a remarkable increase both in the precipitation and temperature during the mid-Holocene. Desert vegetation dominated between 6.5 and 5.5 cal. ka BP, marking an extreme warmer and drier interval. The steppe/meadow steppe recovered, and temperatures decreased from 5.5 cal. ka BP in the late Holocene, as indicated by the increased abundance of Artemisia and the development of meadows. Holocene temperatures and moisture variations in the Sayram Lake areas were similar to those of adjacent areas. This consistency implies that solar radiation was the main driving factor for regional temperature changes, and that the effect of temperature variations was significant on regional changes in humidity. The evolution of climate and environment in the Sayram Lake areas, which were characterized as dry in the early Holocene and relatively humid in the middle-late Holocene, are clearly different from those in monsoonal areas. Dry conditions in the early Holocene in the Sayram Lake areas were closely related to decreased water vapor advection. These conditions were a result of reduced westerly wind speeds and less evaporation upstream, which in turn were caused by seasonal changes in solar radiation superimposed by strong evaporation following warming and drying local climate.

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Early agricultural development and environmental effects in the Neolithic Longdong basin (eastern Gansu) - Springer

Early agricultural development and environmental effects in the Neolithic Longdong basin (eastern Gansu) - Springer | Kaogu | Scoop.it
Neolithic agricultural development and environmental effects in the Longdong area were reconstructed using a synthetic approach, investigating pollen, charcoal, and seed remains for two cultural layer sections and five flotation sites. Results show that Neolithic agriculture in the Longdong area had a simple organization and was dominated by the production of common millet, especially in the early and middle Yangshao age. After the late Yangshao age, Neolithic agriculture developed into a more complex structure, dominated by both common and foxtail millet and the cultivation of rice and soybeans. The production of foxtail millet gradually increased through the Neolithic period, reaching its highest point during the Qijia culture. Soybeans were first cultivated during the late Yangshao culture, approximately 5000 cal a BP. Rice production began no later than 4800 cal a BP, and continued to exist in the Qijia culture, approximately 4000 cal a BP. Agricultural production in Neolithic Longdong, specifically in the “Yuan” area of the loess plateau, developed as a shrub and grass dominated landscape. Vegetation in the river valleys was partly covered with Picea, Tusga, and Quercusconiferous and broadleaf mixed forests. Agricultural activity during the Neolithic period caused an increase in farmland on the loess tableland and a decrease in the abundance of shrub and grassland in the Longdong area. When farmlands were abandoned, vegetation recovered with Hippophae-,Rosaceae-, Ephedra-, and Leguminosae-dominated shrublands and Artemisia-dominated grasslands. 
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

Yangshao period Cannabis and soybean are of interest. Also of note in the apparent late importance of nuts, like Corylus and chestnut, when crops seem to decline. This is still small dataset, but intriguing.

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A relative [modern human] from the Tianyuan Cave

A relative [modern human] from the Tianyuan Cave | Kaogu | Scoop.it
Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans
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Anatomically (and genetically) modern humans at Tianyuan Cave at 40,000 BP, based on new aDNA evidence. Published in PNAS: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/17/1221359110.short

 

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PLOS ONE: Early Mixed Farming of Millet and Rice 7800 Years Ago in the Middle Yellow River Region, China

PLOS ONE: Early Mixed Farming of Millet and Rice 7800 Years Ago in the Middle Yellow River Region, China | Kaogu | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Geographical variation of foxtail millet, Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. based on rDNA PCR–RFLP - Springer

Geographical variation of foxtail millet, Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. based on rDNA PCR–RFLP - Springer | Kaogu | Scoop.it

The rDNA PCR–RFLP of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) germ-plasm collected throughout Eurasia and from a part of Africa was investigated with five restriction enzymes according to our previous study. Foxtail millet germ-plasms were classified by length of the rDNA IGS and RFLP; clear geographical differentiation was observed between East Asia, the Nansei Islands of Japan-Taiwan-the Philippines area, South Asia and Afghanistan-Pakistan. We also found evidence of migration of foxtail millet landraces between the areas. We calculated diversity index (D) for each region and found that center of diversity of this millet is East Asia such as China, Korea and Japan.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

While the high diversity in East Asia is unsurprising given the origins there, what is of note is the lack of diversity in both India and Southeast Asia, suggested ral bottlenecks and limited reintroductions to those regions. Also there is a clear divide between SE Asia and South Asia (with Burma grouping with India) which is to be noted. This division parallels that in rice which has led me to postulate japonica introduction to India via central Asia (also supported by archaeological evidence: see http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12520-010-0035-y ;). Curiously the  South Asian type is also evident in the Himalayas (e.g. Bhutan) despite the presence of Sino-Tibetan that one would expect to have carried diversity from central China.

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, January 11, 2013 11:04 AM

Interesting to see the genetic similarity between Indian and eastern African foxtail millets. Although I suppose this could be due to recent/colonial introductions rather than anything ancient.

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The technology of jades excavated at the Western Zhou, Jin Marquis cemetery, Tianma-Qucun, Beizhao, Shanxi province: recognition of tools and...

The technology of jades excavated at the Western Zhou, Jin Marquis cemetery, Tianma-Qucun, Beizhao, Shanxi province: recognition of tools and... | Kaogu | Scoop.it
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An engraved artifact from Shuidonggou, an Early Late Paleolithic Site in Northwest China - Chinese Science Bulletin Dec. 2012

An engraved artifact from Shuidonggou, an Early Late Paleolithic Site in Northwest China - Chinese Science Bulletin Dec. 2012 | Kaogu | Scoop.it
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

Modern human behavior from NW China at ca. 30,000 BP. This would seem to fit with the idea that Anataomicall Modern Humans arrived in China 40,000-30,000 years ago, much as they did in Europe.

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Seminar: In Search of Ancient Cultivated Soils in North and South China

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part of ICCHA's "rising star" series of research seminars.

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Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Archaeobotany and Domestication
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Old World globalization and the Columbian exchange: comparison and contrast

Old World globalization and the Columbian exchange: comparison and contrast | Kaogu | Scoop.it

A recent paper by Jones et al. (Food globalization in prehistory, World Archaeology, 2011, 43(4), 665–75) explores a prehistoric ‘Trans-Eurasian’ episode of food globalization characterized by the long-distance exchange of starch crops. Drawing upon a comparison to the Columbian Exchange, they emphasize the role of fast-growing crops in optimizing productivity, giving minimal consideration to other drivers. Here we re-evaluate the sequence and timing of the Trans-Eurasian exchange and give greater consideration to the social dimensions of plant translocation. We outline a model for thinking about plant translocations that highlights the way the conceptualization and use of introduced plants changes through time, with social factors frequently dominating in the early stages.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

updated data, and debates, relating to when Chinese millets left China, wheat and barley arrived in China, and the spread of buckwheat. Plus some ideas for conceptualizing the social conext of food crop translocations.

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Ancient plant use at the site of Yuergou, Xinjiang, China: implications from desiccated and charred plant remains

Ancient plant use at the site of Yuergou, Xinjiang, China: implications from desiccated and charred plant remains | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 2012. Archaeobotanical studies were undertaken at the Yuergou site, which is located in the Turpan basin in Xinjiang, China, and which has been dated to around 2300–2400 years b.p. Altogether 21 taxa were identified. Four cereal remains were identified, Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare var. coeleste, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica. The first three were probably cultivated while the last one may not have been grown deliberately, but probably grew together with plants of P. miliaceum. A fruit stone of Ziziphus jujuba (Chinese date) was discovered, which showed that this may have been cultivated around the site during that time. Charcoal of Picea sp. was found, from wood which must have been used as fuel by the indigenous people. Fifteen taxa of wild plants were also identified, most of which can be considered as weeds, and which grew near the site. Burs of Xanthium strumarium were discovered. As nearly all of them were broken, the seeds may have been used by the ancient inhabitants. Since most of the cereal remains consisted of chaff, they must represent by-products. Furthermore, grains of Echinochloa crus-galli may also have been exploited as complementary food resources. All the above indicate that both cultivated and wild plants were used for cereals, fuel, or other purposes, and plant resources played important roles in the daily life of the ancient inhabitants of the Yuergou site.

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PLoS ONE: Identification of Milk Component in Ancient Food Residue by Proteomics

PLoS ONE: Identification of Milk Component in Ancient Food Residue by Proteomics | Kaogu | Scoop.it

In this paper, an ancient visible food remain from Subeixi Cemeteries (cal. 500 to 300 years BC) of the Turpan Basin in Xinjiang, China, preliminarily determined containing 0.432 mg/kg cattle casein with ELISA, was analyzed by using an improved method based on liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS to further identify protein origin. The specific sequence of bovine casein and the homology sequence of goat/sheep casein were identified. The existence of milk component in ancient food implies goat/sheep and cattle milking in ancient Subeixi region, the furthest eastern location of prehistoric milking in the Old World up to date. It is envisioned that this work provides a new approach for ancient residue analysis and other archaeometry field.

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Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Rice origins and cultural history
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Evidence for a Neolithic Age fire-irrigation paddy cultivation system in the lower Yangtze River Delta, China

Evidence for a Neolithic Age fire-irrigation paddy cultivation system in the lower Yangtze River Delta, China | Kaogu | Scoop.it

ScienceDirect.com - Journal of Archaeological Science -

Highlights
► Long-term use of fires was found in ancient paddy production in the Neolithic age. ► Ancient people removed weed by fire in the Neolithic age. ► Fire-using left more black carbon in the soil of ancient paddy fields.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

The extent to which early burning was merely for rice cultivation and not part of older traditions of landscape (including forest) management remains unclear. That rice fields after harvest, when dry, were burned seems highly likely based on the palaeosol evidence there is, which would make early cultivated rice soils nice examples of anthropogenic soils that are enhanced in nutrients in part through burning.

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from Changning site, Qinghai Province, Northwest China

from Changning site, Qinghai Province, Northwest China | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Plant residues recovered from prehistoric stone artifacts can be used to help explain tool function and plant use. At the Changning site in Qinghai Province, Northwest China, dating from 4000 yr BP, we examined starch granules extracted from three slate stone knives. A total of 153 starch grains were retrieved from three stone knives, from which we identified starches from legumes, the Triticeae tribe, foxtail millet (Setaria italica), broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), roots and tubers. These results indicate that the stone knives may have been used for a variety of activities that included reaping grasses and food processing. The species of starch grains retrieved from the study sample reveal that diverse crops were cultivated at the Changning site 4000 years ago.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

The march of starch grain extraction studies in China continues, providing evidence for millets in the Qinghai reguion in the Qijia culture. This is not a particualrly surprising find, but one which adds the geographical extent of millet spread. 

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ScienceDirect.com - Quaternary Research - TT-OSL dating of Longyadong Middle Paleolithic site and paleoenvironmental implications for hominin occupation in Luonan Basin (central China)

ScienceDirect.com - Quaternary Research - TT-OSL dating of Longyadong Middle Paleolithic site and paleoenvironmental implications for hominin occupation in Luonan Basin (central China) | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Dating middle Pleistocene hominin occupations alongside the reconstruction of paleoenvironments in China between 700 and 100 ka has always been a challenging task. In this paper, we report thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence (TT-OSL) dating results for a Middle Paleolithic site in the Luonan Basin, central China, which we have named Longyadong Cave. The results suggest that the age of cave infilling and the deposition of sediments outside the cave range between 389 ± 18 and 274 ± 14 ka. These deposits are stratigraphically and geochronologically correlated with the L4 loess and S3 paleosol units of the typical loess–paleosol sequence of the Chinese Loess Plateau, and with Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 10 to 9, respectively. On the basis of these new ages and the available paleoenvironmental data, it is suggested that the Longyadong hominins might have occupied the site both in glacial and interglacial periods, demonstrating that they coped well with environmental change in this mountainous region in warm/wet and cold/dry climates. The study further implies that the hominins abandoned the Longyadong Cave between 274 ± 14 and 205 ± 19 ka, when it was sealed by alluvial and slope deposits.

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Craniometrical evidence for population admixture between Eastern and Western Eurasians in Bronze Age southwest Xinjiang - Springer

Craniometrical evidence for population admixture between Eastern and Western Eurasians in Bronze Age southwest Xinjiang - Springer | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Xinjiang, the most northwest provincial administrative area of China, was the area where the oriental people met the occidental. The populations in Xinjiang exhibit very high genetic diversity. Previous study revealed that the eastern Xinjiang populations of the Bronze Age were mixed by the Eastern and the Western Eurasians. However, few studies have been performed to reveal when the population admixture started and how far to the west it reached. In this paper, we studied 148 craniofacial traits of 18 skulls from the Bronze Age Liushui graveyard in Khotan (Keriya County) in the southwest of Xinjiang. Seventeen craniometrical parameters of the Khotan samples were then compared with those of other ancient samples from around Xinjiang using dendrogram cluster analysis, principal components analysis, and multidimensional scaling. The results indicated that population sample of Liushui graveyard was mixed by the Western and Eastern Eurasians with about 79% contribution from the east. Therefore, we demonstrated that population admixture between east and west Eurasia can be traced back to as early as 1000 BC in southwest Xinjiang.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

strikes me as a rather antiquated approach to skulls.

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Becka O'Sullivan's comment, February 17, 2013 9:02 AM
The sheer variability in craniofacial traits amongst independent populations makes analysis of this kind incredibly dubious, especially when predicting levels of genetic admixture. Otherwise, it doesn't add more to the methods used by Han Kangxin throughout the 80s and 90s to reach a similar conclusion.
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Late Holocene Evolution of the Fuzhou Basin (Fujian, China) and the Spread of Rice Farming

Late Holocene Evolution of the Fuzhou Basin (Fujian, China) and the Spread of Rice Farming | Kaogu | Scoop.it

In ancient China, productive lowlands were vital in the development and spread of rice-dependent economies centered on paddy field farming. This paper compares and analyzes two independent lines of evidence documenting the late Holocene formation of lowlands suitable for paddy field systems in the Fuzhou Basin (Fujian, China). One paleogeographic reconstruction is based on the analysis of sediment cores from the Fuzhou Basin. Stage one of the paleoenvironmental model is marked by early Holocene sea level rise and the mid-Holocene sea level highstand. Stage two is defined by a fall in sea level, at around 1900 B.P., from the mid-Holocene highstand to modern levels. The paleoenvironmental model suggests that the floodplain and other lowlands suitable for irrigated rice agriculture formed after 1900 B.P., prior to which a large paleoestuary filled the Fuzhou Basin. Do ancient Chinese textual records support the paleoenvironmental model? Are the ancient texts relevant in understanding the anthropogenic contribution to environmental change in the Fuzhou Basin? Textual records covering nearly 2000 years of Chinese history reveal close agreement among the paleoenvironmental and text-based geographic models. Agricultural systems based on rain-fed fields may have existed during the mid-Holocene, but lowlands suitable for paddy field systems did not exist until after 2000 B.P.

 
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Starch grains analysis of stone knives from Changning site, Qinghai Province, Northwest China

Starch grains analysis of stone knives from Changning site, Qinghai Province, Northwest China | Kaogu | Scoop.it

► Discuss the function of stone knife and plants use using the starch grains analysis. ► Indicate the stone knives may have been used for a variety of activities. ► Reveal that diverse crops were cultivated at Changning site in Qinghai Province 4000 years ago.

A total of 153 starch grains were retrieved from three stone knives, from which we identified starches from legumes, the Triticeae tribe, foxtail millet (Setaria italica), broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), roots and tubers.

 

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, January 19, 2013 12:05 PM

No surprising claims, and this would seem an approach with potential for relating tools to activities. Still it would be nice to see this alongside flotation samples from the same site for a more holistic view of plant activities.

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University College London: MA in Archaeology & Heritage of Asia

University College London: MA in Archaeology & Heritage of Asia | Kaogu | Scoop.it
University College London’s Institute of Archaeology will be offering a new MA in Archaeology & Heritage of Asia as of September 2013. This degree programme, which is available as a full-...
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

Just wanted to flag our exciting new degree program that looks comparative across South, Central and East Asia. We are now accepting students for our first year the degree.

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Quaternary Science Reviews - Holocene changes in fire frequency in the Daihai Lake region (north-central China): indications and implications for an important role of human acti...

Quaternary Science Reviews - Holocene changes in fire frequency in the Daihai Lake region (north-central China): indications and implications for an important role of human acti... | Kaogu | Scoop.it
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

The peaks in microcharcoal dring the Yangshao and Longshan phases indicate that it is agriculturl related burning that is evidence. The delcine from Early Yangshao to Longshan suggests that there may be a move away from a shifting millet agricultural system through time.

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Quaternary Science Reviews - Magnetostratigraphic evidence of a mid-Pliocene onset of the Nihewan Formation – implications for early fauna and hominid occupation in the Nihewan ...

Quaternary Science Reviews - Magnetostratigraphic evidence of a mid-Pliocene onset of the Nihewan Formation – implications for early fauna and hominid occupation in the Nihewan ... | Kaogu | Scoop.it
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The Archaeobotanist: Rice archaeology linguistics and genetics special issue

The Archaeobotanist: Rice archaeology linguistics and genetics special issue | Kaogu | Scoop.it

The special issue of Rice arising from the Cornell rice, genetics and linguistics meeting is now complete and fully paginated.... Those papers in the issue are well summarized in the editorial: "In this issue, 12 articles and 1 of the symposium discussants’ commentaries have been included. The first four (by Fuller, Bellwood, d’Alpoim-Guèdes, and Castillo) review and expand the archaeological knowledge about early agriculture in Asia and its wider region. Fuller, who served as a keynote speaker at the symposium, pays special attention to the pan-Asian context, as well as to South Asian developments. The next four articles (by Sagart, Bradley, Southworth, and Whitman) treat the same scope of issues from the perspective mainly of historical linguistics. The contribution by Sanchez-Mazas and her colleagues offers an updated perspective from human genetics, and the two following papers (the first by Takashige and his colleagues and the second by Hsieh, Hsing, and their colleagues), from plant genetics, also reconnecting to the multidisciplinary aspirations of the symposium. In addition, we publish a paper on inter-Asian rice exchanges in later historical periods by veteran agricultural economist Randolph Barker, as well as the revised remarks by Richard O’Connor, one of several symposium discussants."


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Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

one year one, this still looks like a verty useful collection of papers on the archaeology and historical linguistics (and some genetics) of rice. This remains more or less the state of the art.

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, December 15, 2012 11:48 AM

one year on, this still looks like a useful collection of papers on the archaeology (and linguistics) and rice.

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Reconstructing prehistoric land use change from archeological data: Validation and application of a new model in Yiluo valley, northern C...

Reconstructing prehistoric land use change from archeological data: Validation and application of a new model in Yiluo valley, northern C... | Kaogu | Scoop.it

ScienceDirect.com - Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment - ► A new quantitative prehistoric land use model was developed. ► 2–9% of land area in Yiluo valley was used by human activity from 8 to 4 ka B.P. ► Regional land cover has been affected by human activity during the middle Holocene.

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The archaeobotanical significance of immature millet grains: an experimental case study of Chinese millet crop processing

The archaeobotanical significance of immature millet grains: an experimental case study of Chinese millet crop processing | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 2012. We present evidence from ethnography and experimental processing of foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) in China that spikelets containing incompletely filled (or immature) grains constitute a significant portion of typical millet harvests and are removed along with other by-products after threshing and winnowing. This study provides a baseline for the identification of immature foxtail grains in archaeobotanical assemblages. Immature millet grains are a frequent component of archaeobotanical assemblages in Neolithic and Bronze Age China, and criteria for their recognition are presented based on our modern experimental result and illustrated with archaeobotanical examples from Shandong and Henan. It is seed morphology rather than size that plays a determinative role in the identification of foxtail millet. It is suggested that those grains with a narrow egg-shaped embryo, which is about 5/6 of the whole grain, and having a round shape can be classed as foxtail millet even though they are small, flat and squashed. While different grades of immaturity in millet grains might be defined, the interpretative potential of these appears to be negligible as all immature grains are concentrated in winnowing waste. This study confirms the suggestion that the ratio of immature to mature millet grains can be employed in archaeobotany in considering whether or not early stage crop processing (threshing and winnowing) contributed to the formation of particular archaeological millet assemblages.

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Sesame Utilization in China: New Archaeobotanical Evidence from Xinjiang

Sesame Utilization in China: New Archaeobotanical Evidence from Xinjiang | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Economic Botany 2012: A cache of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds, discovered in the Thousand Buddha Grottoes at Boziklik, Turpan, China, dating to ca. 700 years before present (BP), is hard evidence of their use in China since that time. Morphological and anatomical features suggest a white sesame cultivar. The sizeable quantity unearthed implies that sesame was a valued commodity that could provision the monks and enrich the diet of ancient inhabitants as an oil source.

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