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Bioarchaeology of East AsiaMovement, Contact, Health$
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Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044279

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044279.001.0001

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The Population History of China and Mongolia from the Bronze Age to the Medieval Period (2500 bc–ad 1500)

The Population History of China and Mongolia from the Bronze Age to the Medieval Period (2500 bc–ad 1500)

Chapter:
(p.60) (p.61) 3 The Population History of China and Mongolia from the Bronze Age to the Medieval Period (2500 BC–AD 1500)
Source:
Bioarchaeology of East Asia
Author(s):

Christine Lee

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813044279.003.0003

By the beginning of the Bronze Age in East Asia, at least four separate population centers were present within the region: the Central Plains, Manchuria, the Northern Zone, and the Western Regions. This study examines population interaction among these centers from the Bronze Age through the Medieval Period. Over 900 skeletal individuals from 56 archaeological sites were sampled, representing ethnic Han Chinese, Mongolians, Xiongnu, Xianbei, Qidan, Qiang, Huimo, and Wanggu, as well as the non-Asian mummies of western China. Twenty-six dental nonmetric traits were scored for each individual for population comparisons. Three separate population spheres were maintained from the Bronze Age to the Medieval Period. These three populations coincided with the Chinese empire, the Xiongnu Empire, and the oasis states along the Silk Road. Geographic distance and political alliances affected population interaction more than shared cultural traits or language.

Keywords:   China, Mongolia, dental nonmetric traits, population history

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