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Plant use in the Lop Nor region of southern Xinjiang, China: Archaeobotanical studies of the Yingpan cemetery (∼25–420 AD)

Chen, Tao, Wang, Xiyong, Dai, Ji, Li, Wenying, Jiang, Hongen
Quaternary international 2016 v.426 pp. 166-174
Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare, Panicum miliaceum, Triticum aestivum, Vitis vinifera, archaeobotany, basins, cakes, flour, grain crops, microfossils, people, viticulture, wild plants, China
The Yingpan cemetery is situated in the Lop Nor region of the Tarim Basin in southern Xinjiang, China, and it has been dated to the Eastern Han and Jin dynasties (∼25–420 AD). Macrofossil and microfossil analyses were undertaken to investigate the associated plant and food remains. The results indicated that the principal cereal crops of Yingpan people were Panicum miliaceum, Triticum aestivum, and Hordeum vulgare var. coeleste, moreover flour of Triticum aestivum was also processed into cakes. Meanwhile, plant remains of Vitis vinifera suggested grape cultivation and utilization in this region. Apart from the agricultural and horticultural remains, two taxa of wild plants were also identified. This study presents the first systematic archaeobotanical data about the cereal cultivation and plant utilization in ancient Xinjiang during the Eastern Han and Jin dynasties in the Tarim Basin.