Molecular evidence for exploitation ofbiological resources along the Silk Road, Xinjiang, China
14:40 - 15:20
Prof. Yinmin Yang
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
MPI SHH Jena
Xinjiang province is located in Northwestern China, and close to the Central Asia and Southern Asia. Thus, Xinjiang is an important part of the Silk Road. Specially, most of cultivated plants and domesticated animal were introduced from outside. Due to the desert environment in the Southern Xinjiang, some organic materials preserve very well, which could provide a good chance to understand the products from animal and plants besides zooarchaeology and archaeobotany research. In this presentation, we mainly used proteomics and GC/MS to identify the nature and biological origins of organic residue to better understand exploitation of biological resources and culture communication. The exploitation of cattle and ephedra in Xiaohe Culture (about3500-4000 BP), one of earliest culture in the Bronze Age, has been investigated, and dairy products, animal glue and cosmetic stick made of cattle heart have been identified, which reflect how ancient Xiaohe people tried to adapt the hostile desert environment. In Subeixi Culture, the early Iron Age(about 2900-2200BP), fermented bread made of barley and millet has been identified. In the Astana Cemetery, the famous site in the Turpan Basin (about6th- 9th century AD), the lamp oil from sesame and the body wash powder made of pea have been identified. Then, details of life customs of ancient people and culture communication have been disclosed. Therefore, molecular analysis can provide abundant information about the exploitation of biological resources along the Silk Road.