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Research on animal bones excavated from Dongheigou Site, Xinjiang

From:Chinese Archaeology NetWriter:You YueDate:2012-05-24

ABSTRACT

Based on identification and study of animal bones excavated from Dongheigou site in Xinjiang province, this thesis discusses ancient human behaviors about using animal resource and estimates economic formation in that time.
This thesis can be divided into six parts:


(1) It contains an overview of Dongheigou site, zooarchaeological research background in Xinjiang and methods applied in the course of studying animal bones. It introduces morphological differences between male and female pelvis in sheep and horse particularly when mentions identification methods, and introduces ways to quantitate and ratios, estimate body size and dietary contribution , rebuild age class, analyze modification and apply stable isotopes to research animal bones. 


(2) It shows research results of taxonomic attribution, specimen count, metric data, age and sex features, and pathology. It also presents results of relative frequencies of taxa, ratios of age and sex of sheep and horse, and osteoproliferations in vertebras of horse and camel.


(3) Domesticated animal research. Through five criterions to judge domesticated animals, which are taxa frequency, age class, metric data, sex class, and archaeological phenomenon, it concludes that horse, camel, sheep, cattle, dog and goat are domesticated animals. Domesticated ones are the main meat providers.. Besides dietary contribution, sheep wool and milk are utilized, while large animals’ labor, such as horse and camel, are exploited by human in that time.


(4) Butcher marks researches. It quantifies mark frequency, and dismember and filleting difficulty to analyze regular patterns of butcher behavior of ancient human. It concludes that they focus on certain bones and articulations, and that dismember behaviors happen in general while filleting raw meat only happen in certain pits. This kind of butcher pattern is typical in Xinjiang.  


(5) Taphonomy and skeletal fragmentation research. Distribution of weathered bones illustrates that the whole site is influenced except for layers below the fifth level in GT1; and ratio of burned bones shows that pits and layers in GT1 have higher ratio than that in houses, which illustrates that function of the two may be different.
(6) Economic formation and human behaviors. Based on information collected from local Ethnological study, this thesis infers that it is related to pastoral economy and rebuilds human behaviors such as rising and exploiting strategy, butchering and cooking manners, sacrificial activities and so on.

Key words:  Dongheigou site;   zooarchaeology;  Ethnological study