Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (01): 87-96.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0012

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Elemental geochemistry records of metallurgical activities during the late Neolithic and Bronze age in the Xichengyi site, Zhangye

CHEN Guoke1, YANG Yishi1(), ZHANG Shanjia2, WANG Hui1   

  1. 1. Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730000
    2. College of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000
  • Received:2018-07-24 Revised:2018-12-16 Online:2021-02-15 Published:2021-02-25
  • Contact: YANG Yishi


This paper describes elemental geochemical analysis of natural and anthropogenic sediment samples systematically collected from the Xichengyi late Neolithic-Bronze Age site at Zhangye, and combined high-resolution radiocarbon (14C) dates of charred plants seeds with the latest archaeological findings. Results indicated characteristic human activities between 4200 and 3500 BP cal including changes in the intensity of human smelting activities during different prehistoric phases. Variations in Rb/Sr, magnetic susceptibility and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, As and Ni) suggested that with an increase in human activities, copper smelting began to appear from 4200 to 4000 BP cal. Copper smelting substantially increased between 4000 and 3700 BP cal and declined after 3700 BP cal.

Key words: Xichengyi site, Elemental geochemistry, Human activity, Copper smelting

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