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Assessing the occurrence and status of wheat in late Neolithic central China: the importance of direct AMS radiocarbon dates from Xiazhai

Deng, Z; Fuller, D; Chu, X; Cao, Y; Jiang, Y; Wang, L; Lu, H; (2019) Assessing the occurrence and status of wheat in late Neolithic central China: the importance of direct AMS radiocarbon dates from Xiazhai. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 10.1007/s00334-019-00732-7. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The introduction of wheat into central China is thought to have been one of the significant contributions of interactions between China and Central Asia which began in the 3rd millennium bc. However, only a limited number of Neolithic wheat grains have been found in central China and even fewer have been directly radiocarbon dated, making the date when wheat was adopted in the region and its role in subsistence farming uncertain. Based on systematic archaeobotanical data and direct dating of wheat remains from the Xiazhai site in central China, as well as a critical review of all reported discoveries of Neolithic and Bronze Age wheat from this region, we conclude that many wheat finds are intrusive in Neolithic contexts. We argue that the role of wheat in the subsistence of the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age of central China was minimal, and that wheat only began to increase in its subsistence role in the later Bronze Age during the Zhou dynasty after ca. 1000 bc.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing the occurrence and status of wheat in late Neolithic central China: the importance of direct AMS radiocarbon dates from Xiazhai
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00732-7
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-019-00732-7
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright information © The Author(s) 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Triticum aestivum, Bronze Age, Agriculture, Urbanisation, Silk road
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076260
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