Economic Botany

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 260–265 | Cite as

A Contribution to the Prehistory of Domesticated Bottle Gourds in Asia: Rind Measurements from Jomon Japan and Neolithic Zhejiang, China1

  • Dorian Q Fuller
  • Leo Aoi Hosoya
  • Yunfei Zheng
  • Ling Qin
Notes on Economic Plants


Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standley, the bottle gourd, has been of considerable archaeological interest in both hemispheres, as it is the only cultivated plant species that is unambiguously present in both Early Holocene America and Asia. This is true despite the evidence that true wild bottle gourds, like their congeneric relatives, are restricted to southern Africa (Decker-Walters et al. 2004). Finds from the Windover site in Florida were the first to be directly dated to 7290 B.P./ca. 6200–6100 B.C.E. (Doran et al. 1990), and since then bottle gourd seeds and rind fragments from several other sites have been directly dated (Erickson et al. 2005). Recent genetic studies, including ancient DNA from prehistoric American gourds, suggest that bottle gourds of the New World represent a subset of genetic variation derived from bottle gourds in Eastern Asia (Erickson et al. 2005). Early Holocene archaeological finds in both Mesoamerica and North America imply that this...


Lagenaria siceraria archaeobotany domestication Neolithic Jomon Hemudu Liangzhu 



The authors wish to thank Ms. Mikako Koshika (Aomori San’nai Maruyama Site) and Mr. Yasuhiro Okada (Aomori Prefecture Education Department) for access to the San’nai Maruyama samples, and Mr. Masanori Kushibe (Wakasa Museum of History and Ethnology) and Prof. Katsuhiko Amitani (Tsuruga Junior College) for arranging access to the Torihama samples. This research was carried out while the first author was in receipt of a fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and based at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature with Professor Y.-I. Sato. We wish to thank Sun Guoping, the excavation director at Tianluoshan for making material from his site available for study, and the Zhejiang Provincial Institute for Archaeology and Cultural Relics for encouraging archaeobotanical research. We also thank Ding Jin-long for making archaeobotanical materials in the Suzhou Museum available for study, including seeds from Chenghu. Chinese materials were studied while the first author was in receipt of the Sino-British Trust grant from the British Academy.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorian Q Fuller
    • 1
  • Leo Aoi Hosoya
    • 2
  • Yunfei Zheng
    • 3
  • Ling Qin
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural RelicsHangzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Archaeology and MuseologyPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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