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  A stable isotope perspective on archaeological agricultural variability and Neolithic experimentation in India

Nayak, A., Basa, K. K., Boivin, N. L., Fuller, D. Q., Mohanty, R. K., Kingwell-Banham, E., et al. (2022). A stable isotope perspective on archaeological agricultural variability and Neolithic experimentation in India. Journal of Archaeological Science, 141: 105591. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2022.105591.

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 Creators:
Nayak, Ayushi1, Author           
Basa, Kishor K., Author
Boivin, Nicole L.1, Author           
Fuller, Dorian Q., Author
Mohanty, Rabindra K., Author
Kingwell-Banham, Eleanor, Author
Murphy, Charlene, Author
Roberts, Patrick1, Author           
Lee-Thorp, Julia, Author
Bogaard, Amy, Author
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Agriculture, Neolithic, India, Archaeobotany, Stable isotope analysis, South Asia
 Abstract: Agriculture has been crucial in sustaining human populations in South Asia across dramatically variable environments for millennia. Until recently, however, the origins of this mode of subsistence in India have been discussed in terms of population migration and crop introduction, with limited focus on how agricultural packages were formulated and utilised in local contexts. Here, we report the first measurements of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values in well-preserved charred crop remains from sites spanning the Neolithic/Chalcolithic to the Early Historic in two very different environmental zones: tropical East India and the semi-arid Deccan. The results show that this approach offers direct insight into prehistoric crop management under contrasting environmental constraints. Our preliminary results plausibly suggest that early farmers in India experimented with and made strategic use of water and manure resources in accordance with specific crop requirements and under varying environmental constraints. We suggest that the development of modern crop isotope baselines across India, and the application of this methodology to archaeological assemblages, has the potential to yield detailed insight into agroecology in India's past.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-04-072022-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
2. Background to the region
3. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of archaeobotanical assemblages: direct insight into farming conditions
4. Sites, samples, methods
4.1. Sites and samples
4.1.1. East India: Gopalpur, Golbai Sasan and Harirajpur-Bang
4.1.2. South Deccan: Sanganakallu Kupgal
4.1.3. North Deccan: Paithan
4.2. Methods
4.2.1. Pre-treatment of plant remains
4.2.2. Stable isotope analysis
4.2.3. Constructing a modern rice baseline
5. Results
5.1. Experimentally charred modern rice
5.2. Golbai Sasan
5.3. Gopalpur
5.4. Harirajpur-Bang
5.5. Sanganakallu-Kupgal
5.6. Paithan
6. Discussion
6.1. Irrigation and early agricultural experimentation
7. Conclusions and future prospects
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2022.105591
Other: shh3210
 Degree: -

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Title: Journal of Archaeological Science
  Abbreviation : J. Archaeol. Sci.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
Affiliations:
Publ. Info: London : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 141 Sequence Number: 105591 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0305-4403
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922648108