Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 563–570

Stable isotopic analysis on ancient human bones in Jiahu site


DOI: 10.1007/s11430-007-2030-4

Cite this article as:
Hu, Y., Ambrose, S.H. & Wang, C. SCI CHINA SER D (2007) 50: 563. doi:10.1007/s11430-007-2030-4


Palaeodietary analysis is one of important topics in bioarchaeology field and has been paid great attention to by Chinese archaeometrists recently. Ancient human bones in Jiahu Site were analyzed by means of stable isotopes of C, N and O. 13 human bones were excluded from 28 bones for dietary reconstruction due to their unusual collagen contents, C and N contents, and C/N atomic ratios especially. δ13C (−20.37±0.53‰) in collagen of remaining samples showed that C3 food were consumed mainly, which is consistent of the archaeological findings that rice was the staple in Jiahu. According to the difference of δ15N and δ13C values in bone collagen, the samples can be classified into four clusters. The changes of δ15N values in bone collagen and δ13C values in hydroxylapatite through whole cultural phases indicated the transition from hunting to gathering and fishing to rice agriculture and animal domestication ultimately. Meanwhile, the δ18O change in hydroxylapatite showed that palaeoclimate was relatively constant during Jiahu culture.


palaeodietary analysis stable isotopic analysis Jiahu site rice agriculture animal domestication 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Scientific History and ArchaeometryGraduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Lab for Archaeological Chemistry, Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Lab of Biogeochemistry, Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignUrblaUSA

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