Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 614–620 | Cite as

Agricultural development and human diets in Gouwan site, Xichuan, Henan

  • QiaoMei Fu
  • SongAn Jin
  • YaoWu Hu
  • Zhao Ma
  • JianCai Pan
  • ChangSui Wang
Articles Geochemistry


This paper undertook the C and N stable isotopic analysis of human bones unearthed at the Gouwan site in Xichuan, Henan, to reveal the human diets and to explore the lifestyle of humans and the development of rice and millet agriculture. The contribution of rice to human diets was almost equal to that of millet in this site though millet agriculture is the traditional economic model for the middle Yellow River Valley. On the other hand, the comparison of C and N stable isotopes in different cultural periods clearly indicates changes in millet and rice agriculture. Humans mainly depended on agriculture and gathering in the Yangshao Culture I. Millet agriculture, livestock rearing, and fishing were enhanced in the Yangshao Culture II. Millet agriculture and animal husbandry developed steadily in the Yangshao Culture III. After that the mixed rice and millet agriculture developed further. In addition, rice agriculture spread to the north in the climate suitable for cultural exchanges between north and south in the Yangshao Culture phases. In the Qujialing Culture period, under a colder climate, the rice farming was not dominant, though the Qujialing Culture played a key role in the site.


mixed rice and millet agriculture C and N stable isotope analysis Palaeodietary reconstruction 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • QiaoMei Fu
    • 1
  • SongAn Jin
    • 2
  • YaoWu Hu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhao Ma
    • 4
  • JianCai Pan
    • 1
  • ChangSui Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Scientific History and Archaeometry, School of the HumanitiesGraduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of ArcheologyZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Laboratory of Human Evolution and ArchaeometryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Basic Medical CollegeZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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