Human subsistence strategy in the Ordos Plateau, Inner Mongolia, China, during the Qin and Han dynasties: Using stable isotope analysis

We present the δ13C and δ15N results for the dietary reconstruction of animals and humans from the Fuluta cemetery in the Ordos Plateau, a nomadic farming junction area, from the late Qin dynasty to the Western Han dynasty

Liangliang Hou; Chunbai Hu; Tianhui Wu; Yanni Zhao; Hui Deng; Yi Guo

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • This article aims to reveal the subsistence economy of the Qin and Han empires and why they continued to advance northward to defeat the Huns and other grassland peoples in the Ordos Plateau
  • We present the δ13C and δ15N results for the dietary reconstruction of animals and humans from the Fuluta cemetery in the Ordos Plateau, a nomadic farming junction area, from the late Qin dynasty to the Western Han dynasty
  • Results show that the δ13C and δ15N values for humans, pigs and dogs were generally higher than those for cattle and sheep, indicating humans, pigs and dogs may have relied primarily on C4-based food, whereas cattle and sheep mainly relied on C3-based food
  • Related research shows that the diet of the population of the Fuluta cemetery was relatively homogenous and mainly based on millet agriculture and domestic animals, such as pigs, indicating that millet-based agriculture was narrowly focused on for subsistence in the frontier region of northern China
  • All data that support the findings of this study are openly available in this article, which entitled, ‘Human subsistence strategy in the Ordos Plateau, Inner Mongolia, China, during the Qin and Han dynasties: using stable isotope analysis

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