Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Sago-type palms were an important plant food prior to rice in southern subtropical China.|
Barton, Huw J.
|Publisher:||Public Library of Science|
|Citation:||PLoS One, 2013, 8 (5), e63148|
|Abstract:||Poor preservation of plant macroremains in the acid soils of southern subtropical China has hampered understanding of prehistoric diets in the region and of the spread of domesticated rice southwards from the Yangtze River region. According to records in ancient books and archaeological discoveries from historical sites, it is presumed that roots and tubers were the staple plant foods in this region before rice agriculture was widely practiced. But no direct evidences provided to test the hypothesis. Here we present evidence from starch and phytolith analyses of samples obtained during systematic excavations at the site of Xincun on the southern coast of China, demonstrating that during 3,350-2,470 aBC humans exploited sago palms, bananas, freshwater roots and tubers, fern roots, acorns, Job's-tears as well as wild rice. A dominance of starches and phytoliths from palms suggest that the sago-type palms were an important plant food prior to the rice in south subtropical China. We also believe that because of their reliance on a wide range of starch-rich plant foods, the transition towards labour intensive rice agriculture was a slow process.|
|Rights:||Copyright © 2013 Yang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History|
Files in This Item:
|Sago-type palms were an important plant food prior to rice in southern subtropical China..pdf||Published (publisher PDF)||1.56 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.