Animal fibre use in the Keriya valley (Xinjiang, China) during the Bronze and Iron Ages: A proteomic approach

Abstract : 18 Textile technology strongly advanced with sedentism and pastoralism. During prehistory, many 19 populations settled in central Eurasia, a place of extensive exchange and cultural contact. In the 20 Taklamakan desert, the dry climate enabled good preservation of ancient textiles. The study presented 21 here aimed to identify animal fibres from Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in the Keriya valley 22 (Xinjiang, China) using proteomics. A large corpus of 109 keratin extracts obtained from raw fibres or 23 textiles was analysed, enabling us to establish a corrected and improved list of peptide markers for the 24 identification of species, not only among the family Bovidae, but also for camels and humans. In total, 25 we were able to identify 97% of the sampled objects to the taxonomic level of tribe and 85% of 26 caprines to the level of genus. The assemblage was dominated by hair of sheep (57.8%) followed by 27 goat (16.5%), cattle (8.3%), camel (0.9%), human (0.9%) and non-differentiated Caprinae (sheep or 28 goat) (12.8%). The study showed a continuity between the two sites in this respect. It revealed a 29 choice of raw material linked to the function of the textile, with most woven textiles being made from 30 sheep's wool and most pelt being obtained from goat. Comparison with the bone assemblage of one of 31 the sites provided insight into the herd management strategies. The results confirm the heuristic 32 potential of the proteomic approach for the determination of archaeological fibres and for textiles 33 studies in general. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD012189. 34
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Clara Azemard, Antoine Zazzo, Arul Marie, Sébastien Lepetz, Corinne Debaine-Francfort, et al.. Animal fibre use in the Keriya valley (Xinjiang, China) during the Bronze and Iron Ages: A proteomic approach. Journal of Archaeological Science, Elsevier, 2019, 110, pp.104996. ⟨10.1016/j.jas.2019.104996⟩. ⟨hal-02348818⟩

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