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28,000 Rivers Disappeared in China: What Happened?

28,000 Rivers Disappeared in China: What Happened? | Kaogu | Scoop.it
Government officials say it's been caused by statistical inaccuracies and climate change. But is that the whole story?
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River floodplain aggradation history and cultural activities: geoarchaeological investigation at the Yuezhuang site, Lower Yellow River, China

River floodplain aggradation history and cultural activities: geoarchaeological investigation at the Yuezhuang site, Lower Yellow River, China | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Archaeobotanical research at the Yuezhuang and Xihe sites of the Houli culture in the Lower Yellow River has found abundant carbonised plant remains, including rice, millet, weed seeds and many other plants (7800-7000 cal BP). Although studies of the diverse economic practices of the Houli people have begun, issues such as ecological diversity and relationships between site formation processes with environmental changes are still poorly understood. Applying soil micromorphology and related methods such as particle size distribution and loss-on-ignition at Yuezhuang, this paper presents results of the geoarchaeological investigation and the implications for the reconstruction of site formation processes in relation to river alluvial history. A long alluvial sequence is reconstructed, consisting of frequent alternations of short-periods surface stabilities and succeeding alluviations. Human occupations corresponded to those short-term surface stabilities and are evidenced by the presence of anthropogenic inclusions in thin sections, including burned bone fragments and pottery sherds. The significances of this study to an ecological approach focusing on environmental changes and cultural adaption are discussed.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

This is one of the first serioes applications of archaeological soil micromophology in China (Richard MacPahil did a liitle some years ago in the Yiluo valley). This geoarchaeological study frames the Houli culture occupation in relation to dynamic cycles of landscape stability and flooding, What we need now is more comparable studies to see if these kinds of setting are typical.

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Zhang Chi and Hsiao-chun Hung - Jiahu 1: earliest farmers beyond the Yangtze River

Zhang Chi and Hsiao-chun Hung - Jiahu 1: earliest farmers beyond the Yangtze River | Kaogu | Scoop.it

The authors summarise the latest evidence for the introduction of rice cultivation into northern China, and show that it most probably began there in the early seventh millennium BC as a result of influence or migration from the Yangtze Valley

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

Another selective and incomplete use of the Jiahu data, coupled with contemporary Baligang, which is in a different river valley, and lacked enough ceramics reconsruct a single vessel. Is early Baliganag really the same culture at Jiahu? Is Baligang derived from a migration from the Yangtze as the authors contend? Is there even evidence that Jiahu is an immigrant farming culturwe from the Yangtze? No! There is no evidence really in favour of this, only a dogmatic belief tht rice should have a single centre of origin and dispersal by migration.

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, March 3, 2013 6:17 AM

I am too busy on other work to provide a full blog on this now, but I will in due course. Unfortunately this paper is highly mis-leading, and once again Jiahu is the centre of rather selective communication that claims to resolves the origins of rice agriculture but relies on a certain amount slight of hand that obscures  the actual data. First the paper slectively picks data from the ealiest levels from the Peking University excavations at Baligang together with the ragtag data from a couple of excavation campaings at Jiahu (in a different river valley). First, as to the photo seen here, these are storage pits and houses of the Third Millennium BC, Qiujialing/Shijiahe/Longshan period, which is the focus of that site. So the authors have selected misleading photo that has nothing to do with the few lower contexts from which the rice and acorn remains discussed in the paper come. The rice data, itself is unpbulished, but in this paper it relies on an student dissertation (a  very good) which focused on the Qiujialing/Shijiahe/Longshan and Yangshao period, which in a footnote mentioned some preliminary data on sikelet bases from the 7th millennium BC lower levels. That is actually a personal communication from me and Dr. Qin Ling, on the bais of a preliminary sort of one early sample after it came out of the ground in 2008. The very precise precentages given are prone to revisions once the full analysis of the lower levels are finished. In terms of using the data from Jiahu, there are three sets of archaeobotanical data which are mixed in this paper in selective way. First there is the 1999 monograph on earlier excavations, from which comments on rice and the presence of wild foods in quoted. Later informed comments and discussions of this material (such as Fuller et al 2007 in Antiquity, are carefully avoided, as they suggest this maerial is entirely consistent with wild rice gathering from a range of wild rice species or populations). In absence of spikelet bases from Jiahu we simply do not know how much of this rice might have been cultivated and how gathered wild: the grain morpholoigal diversity tends to point towards wild gathering at least some of this. Second, there are the only systematic samples, collected by wet-sieving by Zhao Zhijun. These rightly provided some quantified data on the present of rice versus other foods and some possible weeds. It should be noted that none of the weeds is exclusively diagnostic of either cultivation nor wet rice. (e.g. Digitaria is typically a dry millet weed, but does occur in early rice cultivation as well). Indeed this site shows rice as a co-staple with acorns and Trapa, much as we see in amongst early cultivators in the Yangtze. Zhao's grain metrics, largely overlap the small grains from the 1999 excavation report, but these too are left out. Third there are grain metrics from the later (2004) excavations.that came not through flotation but from hand collecting and coarse screening, which were published by Liu et al in The Holocene 2007 as a critique of the 1999 measurement. (Collection methods could bias these otwards large sizes.) This measurements are quoted here, but mis-quotes, as they actually show size reduction over time-- a trend more inline with wild rice adapting to changing climate than a domestication process. The problem is all these set of measurements are real and should be taken together. They indicate no clear trend in size change but instead a huge spread of metrical diversity. Unfortunately, apart from those readers who have been through the Chinese monogrpahs and dissertations and know the unpublished material from Baligang, this paper may well mislead as well as inform on the earliest rice farmers!

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8000-Year old rice remains from the north edge of the Shandong Highlands, East China

8000-Year old rice remains from the north edge of the Shandong Highlands, East China | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Systematic archaeobotanical work at Xihe site recovered 8000 years old rice and other plant remains. Cultural context analyses of the plant and animal remains indicated Xihe people relied mainly on fishing–hunting–gathering as their subsistence. As the largest amount and higher concentration of plant remains, rice might contribute much to plant food resource at the settlement. Even though it is too early to demonstrate the nature of the rice remains (whether it is wild, cultivated or domesticated), the case that discovery of Xihe rice has undoubtedly provided new evidence for our understanding of rice exploitation subsistence at about 8000 years ago in East China.

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, February 25, 2013 9:13 AM

Importany evidence for early rice and millet consumption in northern Shandong: 74 fragments of rice grains and 2 "Setaria italica" This looks to be morpholoigically wild and would fit with our expectation that wild rice used to range this far north. The authors argue that this rice was had "special" status because of its concetration in a particular pit, but given that this pit had higher density of most categories of plant remains and animals remains (especially fish bones), what seems to be special is the preservation conditions of the pitfill rather than contents of the pit. Beyond this special status context, the authors argue that the chronologicl context should be taken to indicate cultivation because of similar age sites like Jiahu and Baligang also have rice that may be cultivated (or maybe not?)-- this all makes for a rather tenuous argument for inferring cultivation.  Given the fragmentary nature of the 2 foxtail millet grains even the cultivation of these could be questioned. Still an exciting early archaeobotanical assemblage, although looks to be more in the hunter-gather grade than early farming.

jasmin's comment, February 27, 2013 7:33 AM
Rice is the important component in south Indian dishes. http://www.vaango.in/
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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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UCL Institute of Archaeology

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is recognised for the excellence of its teaching and student experience, as reflected in numerous university league tables a...
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our new Master's recruitment video. Why London is the right place to study Asian archaeology and heritage (also a good place for archaeobotany)

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Antiquity Vol 87:335, 2013 pp 121-136 - Xiaolong Wu - Cultural hybridity and social status: elite tombs on China's Northern Frontier during the third century BC

Antiquity Vol 87:335, 2013 pp 121-136 - Xiaolong Wu - Cultural hybridity and social status: elite tombs on China's Northern Frontier during the third century BC | Kaogu | Scoop.it

It is a pleasure to present this vivid account of elite tombs on China's Northern Frontier, together with a closely argued case for cultural hybridity within the postcolonial paradigm. This incisive exposition of political interaction on a frontier will resonate with all of us who work with ‘imperial-barbarian’ relations—on any continent.

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A study of how local elite culture in 3rd c. BC inner Mongolia activily and creatively drew on both Chinese and "barbarian" traditions to display and create local elite status and identity.

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Mortgaging the future of chinese paleontology

Mortgaging the future of chinese paleontology | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Chinese fossil forgery in the last decade highlights some troubling trends in Chinese vertebrate paleontology (1⇓⇓–4). While fossil forgeries unfailingly stoke public fascination in a field capable of producing the infamous Piltdown man hoax, the widespread damages that forgery causes are often not sufficiently recognized. Amid the renaissance of Chinese paleontology evidenced by stunning discoveries of inconceivable riches of fossils (5), paleontologic science is treading a path never experienced elsewhere: Commercialization of fossils and all that goes with a quasi-free market of fossil trade that has simultaneously become the boom and bane of Chinese vertebrate paleontology.

 

The coupling of several factors enables a spectacular boom in the commercial markets of vertebrate fossils: a long history of “dragon bone” collecting for traditional Chinese medicines, an explosive growth in funding for vertebrate paleontology in China, and a remarkable—if often ill-conceived—building spree of Chinese museums that actively participate in fossil trade. The financial incentive for polishing-up or augmenting an “imperfect” fossil may be irresistible for a farmer of modest means. Eyewitness reports suggest that there are now farmhouses that specialize in faking fossils, with shelves of spare fossil parts at standby for the right components. By their nature, statistics about artificial enhancements of fossils are difficult to come by [some estimate as high as 80% of specimens on display in some Chinese museums (see ref. 3)], but researchers in routine contact with traded fossils can attest to the pervasiveness of fossil faking, which is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

 

By Chinese law, vertebrate fossils are considered state property and are strictly protected for their scientific value (6). In practice, however, lack of enforcement and corruption enable a thriving fossil market that is highly profitable both domestically and internationally. The scale of illicit quarrying in Chinese fossiliferous sites is unprecedented, resulting in extraordinary discoveries of rare fossils that would not otherwise be found in surface samplings by field paleontologists. While the rest of the paleontologic world still proceeds with its “stone-age” pace of discoveries made by paleontologists scouring surface exposures, Chinese vertebrate paleontology has leapfrogged ahead with the participation of a vast labor force, but in the process risking the future of Chinese paleontology by hollowing out the mountains without regard for collecting common kinds of data and specimens for careful interpretation of ancient environments.

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

Some sobering discussion of the high levels of creating and modifying fossils for the burgeoning trade in fossils (from dinosaurs to more recent mammals), driven in part by the great expansion in museum buidling in China. Although this is not strictly archaeology, therer are some issue of museums and heritage management here to be sure, and I wonder if this impinges on the Pliestocene study of early humans ever...There are some serious issues about loss of contextual information at the same time as increasing rates of discovery brought out by the growth in non-professional fossil hunting.

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The Archaeobotanist: Unravelling agricultural packages

The Archaeobotanist: Unravelling agricultural packages | Kaogu | Scoop.it

Two recent studies, one for the west and and one for the east, illustrate how crop packages unravel and become less diverse as they spread. The spread of agriculture is so often presented as a processing of unfolding, like a blanket being stretched from the point of origin outwards. This is especially true of the spread of Near Eastern agriculture, a truly diversified crop package of cereals (multiple kinds of wheat and barley, pulses, flax, plus livestock). But when the spread of agriculture is examined in detail, it is clear that crop species and varieties drop out along the way, and those which do make it probably become less genetically diverse....

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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-...
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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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