By Lu Peng Supervisor: Yuan Jing
Key Words: Domestic Cattle Origin China Zoo-archaeology
The research on the origin of domestic cattle is an important element of the study of domestication in zoo-archaeology. This thesis discusses the date, the places and the cause of the domestic cattle in China, which is through a study of remains of cattle found in Neolithic sites. The research is from the point of zoo-archaeology and is based on the criterions to judge the domestic cattle.
The thesis settles the denomination and the texonomy of cattle. The researcher’s opinion is that cattle include Bos taurus and Bos indicus, while Bos granuiens and Bubalus bubalis excepted. The species of cattle which appear in the historical literature have been corresponded to the zootaxy.
Criterions to judge the domestic cattle include: osteological configuration, measurement data, age structure, quantification statistics (MNI and NISP), archaeological context and the meathods of modern science.
The author analyses and researches the remains found in Neolithis sites based on these criterions. The sites which have been recognised as have domestic cattle include the village of Dahe in Gansu province, the graveyard of Qinweijia in Gansu province, Pingliangtai in Henan province, Guchengzhai in Henan province, Wadian in Henan province, Shantaisi in Henan province. The opinion is that the origin of domestic cattle in China can be dated to the late of the late period of Neolithic, in some sites which belong to the culture of Longshan and Qijia，and the area is the Huanghe River valley.
From the phenomenon of archaeology that cattle are buried solely or together with man for special purpose, and the data of the historical literature and ethnology, the author considers the use of the symbolistic role is the cause of cattle domestication and analyses the cultural and social meaning of the symbolistic role.