A Study on People's Diet of Daxinzhuang Site of the Shang Dynasty by Isotopic Analysis of 13N and 15N


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Study and Research Fellowships (East and Southeast Asia)


Institute of Archaeology




Located in Jinan City of Shandong Province, Daxinzhuang is a very important site dated to the SHang Dynasty (16-11th Century BC) in eastern China, where oracle bone inscriptions and 30 noble burials have been discovered. This project will conduct isotopic analysis of 13C and 15N on the human bones of Daxinzhuang site in order to examine the diet and nutrition of the ancient nobles. The 13C and 15 N analysis of human bones can tell us what people take as their staple food and their nutrition levels, respectively. The result will then be compared with the isotopic analysis results of other contemporaneous sites, which have been completed by the applicant, such as Yinxu, Yanshi, Qianzhangda, Liulihe, Huoshaogou and Lajia in North China to do a synthetical reseach on the diet and nutrition conditions of different social ranks in complex societies during the origin and development of Chinese civilization. In addition, by conducting isotopic analysis in a laboratory in USA, methods and results of isotopic analysis in China and USA will be compared, and the analytical mthod of the laboratory in the Institute of Archaeology CASS will be improved further to provide more precise data for Chinese archaeology.