People of the late Neolithic Taosi site in Shanxi

black man
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black man
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Joined: July 11th, 2005, 8:13 pm

June 3rd, 2018, 2:48 pm #1

Taosi site is associated with later Neolithic Longshan cultures. Interestingly, the site might give clues as for the period during which facial structure were becoming more similar to those of present-day inhabitants of the region according to Brown and Maeda. That said, the society of the people whose remains archaeologists examined was stratified. And it was those people who were buried in pits seemed to have had an eye region more similar to that of average modern northern Han. By contrast, those people who were buried in tombs had lower orbital indices (i.e., possibly "more rectangular" orbits).

One more remarkable thing could be that the people buried in pits were relatively often in mtDNA hg D like the Shang people from the Yinxiu site. Basically, high diversity can imply low levels of matrivicinity and, thus, low social status of women. On the other hand, the absence of hg D from the tomb samples is potentially interesting in the light of a relative abunance of mtDNA hg M10: M10 being rare today, this could mean, it originated in what is now Shanxi. However, then it might have spread together with people from special occupational groups (such as administrative personel) to a few historically important locations but not to others.

The relatively even spread of M10 in present-day Tibetan populations according to Qi et al. 2013 seems to imply the background of patrilineal Sino-Tibetans. Then again, endogamous tendencies among special occupational groups might have increased the frequency of M10 at locations like the Taosi site.

Sources:
Brown and Maeda 2004: "Post-Pleistocene diachronic change in East Asian facial skeletons: the size, shape and volume of the orbits"
Hogarth et al. 1999: "Ancient China"
Qi Xuebin et al. 2013: "Genetic Evidence of Paleolithic Colonization and Neolithic Expansion of Modern Humans on the Tibetan Plateau"; doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst093
Zeng Wen et al. 2013: "Preliminary research on hereditary features of Yinxiu population"
Zhang Yajun et al. 2009: "陶寺中晚期人骨的种系分析"
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