PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 639-645.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.05.013

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Plant Resource Utilization at Sheshantou Site in Jiangxi Province Based on Starch Grain Analysis

WAN Zhiwei1,2, YANG Xiaoyan1, GE Quansheng1, FAN Changsheng3, ZHOU Guangming3, MA Zhikun1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang 330008, China
  • Received:2011-10-01 Revised:2011-12-01 Online:2012-05-25 Published:2012-05-25

Abstract: Sheshantou is an important Neolithic archaeological site in Jiangxi province, but hardly any environmental archaeology and paleoethnobotany research had been done about it. Starch grain analysis, as a new micro-remain method, has been chosen in this research. And some potteries-two pottery bowls and a pottery jar,excavated from the She shantou site were examined in this study. The results show that the food residues attachedto the inner wall of the pottery include lots of starch grains from different plants such as Oryza spp., Setariaspp., an amount of root and tuber, and a few starch grains cannot be identified at this time which maybe caused by the appearance of a number of transient starch grains produced within the process of photosynthesis.Starch grains from Oryza spp. 7 grains represent 21% of the total, Starch grains from Setaria spp. 9 grains represent 26%, and only 2 grains from roots and tubers. The results probably indicate that, 4500~3500 a BP, the ancient people lived in the region of Sheshantou had made use of rice and millet, and also taken some root and tuberas their food resource. This research supplied some evidences for the study on paleoethnobotany and environmental archaeology in Southern China, and shed some new light on the research of ancient people diet. Andthese results also demonstrate that ancient starch grains can be reserved in archaeological sites of Southern China,which will be a useful complement to other research methods in the near future.

Key words: ancient plant utilization, Jiangxi, pottery residue, Sheshantou site, starch grain analysis