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Investigating the late neolithic millet agriculture in Southeast China: New multidisciplinary evidences
- Ge, Wei, Yang, Shu, Chen, Yutong, Dong, Shihua, Jiao, Tianlong, Wang, Miao, Wu, Mengyang, Huang, Yunming, Fan, Xuechun, Yin, Xijie, Zhang, Yonghui, Tan, Qiaoguo
- Quaternary international 2019
- C3 plants, C4 plants, carbon, coasts, collagen, fauna, foods, marine resources, millets, nitrogen, seeds, stable isotopes, swine, China
- The spread of millet agriculture to southeast (SE) China is critical to understanding the region's economic pattern and its potential impact on the proposed initial expansion of proto-Austronesians. In this study, we present new multidisciplinary evidence for the development of millet agriculture from three Neolithic sites in Fujian Province, China: Hulushan, Pingfengshan and Huangguashan. The carbonized seeds from Hulushan indicate the existence of millet agriculture around 3842-3649 cal. BP. Meanwhile, we tested stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of faunal remains (n = 22) from Pingfengshan and Huangguashan shell midden sites in a coastal area of Fujian. The stable isotope results for pigs (δ15N values range from 4.9 to 11.2‰, and δ13C values range from −24.1 to −11.2‰) show significant variations, suggesting that these pigs were fed different foods, including C3 plants, C4 plants and marine resources. Specifically, two samples of pig collagen with strong millet signals were directly dated to about 4000-3600 cal. BP. These new findings provide substantial evidence for a new understanding of the development of millet agriculture in SE China.