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  Foodways on the Han dynasty’s western frontier: archeobotanical and isotopic investigations at Shichengzi, Xinjiang, China

Sheng, P., Storozum, M., Tian, X., & Wu, Y. (2020). Foodways on the Han dynasty’s western frontier: archeobotanical and isotopic investigations at Shichengzi, Xinjiang, China. The Holocene, 30(8): 0959683620913916, pp. 1174-1185. doi:10.1177/0959683620913916.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-508A-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-63DF-F
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Sheng, Pengfei, Author
Storozum, Michael1, Author              
Tian, Xiaohong, Author
Wu, Yong, Author
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: agricultural strategies, archeobotany, Han dynasty, isotopic analysis, Silk Road, Xinjiang
 Abstract: Recent archeobotanical work has shed light on prehistoric food globalization across the Eurasian landmass; however, much less research has focused on the foodways of the historical cities and settlements found throughout Central Asia on various portions of the ?Silk Road?. Here, we present archeobotanical and isotopic results from recent excavations at Shichengzi, a Han dynasty (202 BC?AD 220) military garrison. Our archeobotanical results recovered from 11 samples reveal that four types of cereals, naked barley, wheat, common millet, and foxtail millet, were the most common crops at the site. Naked barley, a drought and cold resistant crop, comprised 79% of the crop assemblage recovered from Shichengzi, and the rest of the assemblage is composed of wheat and millet. The reliance on drought resistant crops indicates that people at Shichengzi oriented their agricultural strategy toward mitigating environmental risks. In addition, our isotopic analyses (δ13C and δ15N) of charred cereal grains (n = 22), animal and human remains (n = 12) recovered from excavations at Shichengzi suggests that the δ15N values of cereals were enriched by human or livestock dung. Moreover, the δ13C data from Shichengzi suggest that farmers preferentially planted their crops in wide areas that would have received the highest amounts of water available on the northern piedmont of the Tianshan mountains. Our research contributes to the growing understanding of the diversity of agricultural strategies used along the Silk Road.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-04-272020-08-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 12
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction

Food production strategies on the western frontier of the Han dynasty’s empire

Shichengzi

Materials and methods
- Radiocarbon dating
- Plant materials and identification
- Quantitative reconstruction of the cropping system
- Isotopic measurements

Results
- Radiocarbon dating
- Identification of plant materials and crop choice
- Carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis
- Isotopic baseline of the natural vegetation

Discussion
- Manuring at Shichengzi
- Water management at Shichengzi
- A diversity of agricultural systems during the Han period in western China

Conclusion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1177/0959683620913916
Other: shh2582
 Degree: -

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Title: The Holocene
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Los Angeles, CA : Sage Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 30 (8) Sequence Number: 0959683620913916 Start / End Page: 1174 - 1185 Identifier: ISSN: 1477-0911
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925578075_1