The University of Arizona

Dating Charred Remains on Pottery and Analyzing Food Habits in the Early Neolithic Period in Northeast Asia

Dai Kunikita, Igor Shevkomud, Kunio Yoshida, Shizuo Onuki, Toshiro Yamahara, Hiroyuki Matsuzaki


This study reconstructs food habits through carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, and C/N analysis of charred residues inside pottery from Amur River sites in Russia (Goncharka 1 site, Novotroitskoe 10 site, Kondon 1 site) and in Hokkaido, Japan (Taisho 3 site, Yachiyo A site). We obtained dates from 12,330 to 7920 BP for these sites. There are major differences in the carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios between the Taisho 3 site (δ13C: –21.7 to –24.1‰; δ15N: 11.9–14.7‰) and the other sites (δ13C: –22.0 to –27.1‰; δ15N: 7.1–13.1‰), suggesting that the people of the Taisho 3 site made use of anadromous fish such as salmonids and some species of trout, as well as marine resources. The dates from the other sites except Taisho 3 were assumed to be from a mixture of marine foods, C3 plants and terrestrial animals, and freshwater fish. The food boiled in the pots also indicated a high dependence on marine resources during the initial stages of the emergence of pottery.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16378

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