Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationWashington U., St. Louis
Grant numberGr. 9416
Approve DateApril 18, 2017
Project TitleLemoine, Ximena, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Pigs in Neolithic North China: Domestication in the Context of Diversity and Regional Expression,' supervised by Dr. Xinyi Liu
Preliminary abstract: This archaeological research project examines developing human-pig relationships during the early Neolithic in one center for the origins of pig domestication: North China. Through demographic reconstruction and stable isotopic analysis of pig populations from Northern Chinese sites, it takes on the tasks of identifying the strategies these communities used to acquire pig resources, and understanding the range of diversity within those strategies through space and time. Recent developments in the study of domestication have revealed the process as regionally and locally contingent, with trajectories that are shaped by specific geographical, biological, and social contexts. This expansion of our knowledge calls for closer inspection of specific local and regional histories of human-animal interaction. This study aims to provide this for North China. Sites from the Western Liao River Basin and the Huai River Basin have been selected for comparative analysis and are representative of synchronic intra- and inter-regional variation, as well as diachronic continuity. Two sets of hypotheses are tested concerning the effects of regional and local factors on human-pig relationships, and the pace and history of pig domestication. This project contributes to a significant and ongoing body of work aimed at interrogating the roles of both human intentionality and contingency in the development of mutualistic relationships of domestication. The comparative framework employed, contributes to the creation of an evidentiary archive where the common and idiosyncratic outcomes, courses, and settings for domestication can be isolated, in order to more closely approximate the global impetuses for, and long term environmental and cultural consequences of the transition to food production.