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《Chinese Science Bulletin》 2014-34
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Research on charred plant remains from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Luoyang Basin

ZHANG JunNa;XIA ZhengKai;ZHANG XiaoHu;College of Arts and Science, Beijing Union University;School of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University;Institute of Cultural Relics in Henan Province;  
Analysis of charred plant remains is an efficient way to study ancient agriculture and has yielded many insights. Because of the complexity and diversity of ancient agriculture, how to select the best sites to improve the representativeness of charred plant remains is an important research topic. An assemblage of charred plant remains were obtained using flotation samples collected from ash pits and cultural layers of 22 small sites from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in the Luoyang Basin, North China, where Neolithic cultures developed. The species of the plant remains were identified stereoscopically. Previous research on both small and large sites had shown that foxtail millet(Setaria italica subsp. italica) and broomcorn millet(Panicum miliaceum) were the major corps in the Luoyang Basin during the Neolithic period, where rainfed agriculture practiced. Rice(Oryza sativa), wheat(Triticum aestivum), and soybean(Glycine max) were cultivated later. In the Erlitou period, five crops were grown in this area. The diversification of crops in small sites occurred earlier than in large sites. Small sites had higher proportions of rice and wheat than did large sites in the Erlitou period, reflecting the differences in site function. Plant remains taken from different landforms showed that the agricultural structures on alluvial plains were different from those on loess terraces. More crop species were grown on loess terraces than on alluvial plains from the Yangshao to the Longshan period, but the species and quantities of crops on the alluvial plains were greater in the Erlitou period. Environmental factors such as climate, landform, and hydrology are probably the main reasons for these patterns. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of charred plant remains analysis of small sites. More attention should be paid to small sites in future research.
【Fund】: 国家社会科学基金重大项目(11&ZD183 12&ZD151);; 教育部人文社会科学研究基金(14YJCZH207);; 北京联合大学新起点计划(2K201214)资助
【CateGory Index】: Q914
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