Radical change and dietary conservatism: Mixing model estimates of human diets along the Inner Asia and China’s mountain corridors
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Liu, X., Reid, R., Lightfoot, E., Matuzeviciute, G., & Jones, M. (2016). Radical change and dietary conservatism: Mixing model estimates of human diets along the Inner Asia and China’s mountain corridors. Holocene, 26 (10), 1556-1565. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683616646842
Recent research has demonstrated that a series of mountains from the eastern Iranian Plateau to eastern Kazakhstan and to western China played a significant role in trans-Eurasian exchange during the third and second millennia BC. In close association with these mountain corridors, a number of southwestern Asian cereals, notably free threshing wheat and barley, moved eastward; broomcorn millet, among other plant foods originating in China, moved westwards. In this paper we apply Bayesian stable isotope mixing models to published and newly obtained isotopic data in order to quantitatively estimate the contribution of different food resources to human diets; and we consider the complexity of human food strategies at the both ends of these mountain corridors: southern Kazakhstan and the Hexi corridor in western China. Our results contrast the rapid adoption of wheat and/or barley in the Hexi Corridor with the gradual, incremental adoption of millet in southern Kazakhstan during the second millennium BC.
The authors are grateful to European Research Council, under grant 24964 (FOGLIP), Washington University Deanery Office Grant, American Association of University Women (AAUW), International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) for financial support. We are thankful to Catherine Kneale and James Rolfe from Cambridge for assistance with isotopic analysis. We are also grateful to Pavel Tarasov for helps to the manuscript; and to Professors Mayke Wagner and Pavel Tarasov and Dr Robert Spengler for organizing the workshop, entitled ‘The Introduction and Intensification of Agriculture in Central Eurasia’, Berlin in 2015.
European Research Council (249642)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683616646842
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/255108