dimarts, 11 de març de 2014

Crop consumption among the prehistoric pastoralists of Tian-Shan Mountains according to stable isotope and archaeobotanical analysis


Crop consumption among the prehistoric pastoralists of Tian-Shan Mountains 
according to stable isotope and archaeobotanical analysis

Dr. Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute (Vilnius University), 

Divendres 14 de març de 2014, 16h, 
Sala d'Actes de la Delegació del CSIC a Barcelona, c/Egipcíaques 15, 08001 Barcelona



The main goal of this research is to explore the contribution of plant food to the diet
of pastoral societies and to examine any dietary differences across space and time in
Central Asia. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis as well as archaeobotanical
investigation were conducted at Prehistoric (Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Early Iron
Age) sites across Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Also, fourteen AMS dates of studied
human bones and charred cereal macrofossils were obtained. Results show that during
the Bronze Age pastoralists in the mountainous southern Kazakhstan consumed C4
plants, likely domestic millets (Panicum miliaceum or Setaria italica) and probably
cultivated C3 plants (wheat or barley). The first archaeobotanical investigation to date
from the high altitude zone of Kyrgyzstan resulted in both charred grain and chaff of
the wheat that represent a compact wheat varieties, similar to that of Indian dwarf
wheat - T. aestivum subsp. Sphaerococcum. By directly dating individuals with high
δ13C values we were able to find the earliest evidence of the consumption of large
quantities of millet in Central Asia to date.

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