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Ref ID: 37145
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Eda, M.
Shoocongdej, R.
Auetrakulvit, P.
Kachajiwa, J.
Title: The history of chicken and other bird exploitation in Thailand: preliminary analysis of bird remains from four archaeological sites
Date: 2018
Source: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
DOI: 10.1002/oa.2731
Abstract: The origin of the domestication of chicken Gallus gallus domesticus is still a subject of debate. It principally originates from the red junglefowl G. gallus, which is distributed throughout Southeast Asia and South China. However, the prehistoric exploitation of chicken and red junglefowl in Southeast Asia has remained unclear due to a small number of samples for bone analysis. In this study, we analysed bird remains from four archaeological sites in Thailand: Ban Hua Ud (4,000–3,000 bp), Long Long Rak (1,900–1,600 bp), Ban Non Wat (3,750–1,500 bp), and Keed Kin (fifth–11th Century A.D.). Bones from pheasants/fowls (Phasianidae), storks (Ciconiidae), cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae), crows (Corvidae), and passerines (Passeriformes) were found. A small number of stork bones were found at three lowland sites, with none found at Long Long Rak. Cormorant bones were dominant at Ban Hua Ud but were only found at that site. Pheasant/fowl bones were found at all sites except Ban Hua Ud and dominated the number of identified specimens, suggesting that they were the most commonly used bird, at least after the Iron Age. Morphological bone identification criteria for the 24 Phasianidae species in Thailand have not been established; ancient DNA analysis is required to differentiate chicken/red junglefowl bone from other indigenous pheasants/fowls. It is obvious that mitochondrial DNA remained unchanged in the early stages of the domestication process. Further studies combining ancient DNA and morphological analyses are required to judge whether all of the candidate chicken bones are indeed from red junglefowl or chicken. Although these results are regionally and temporally restricted, they give important quantitative information on bird exploitation during the Neolithic and early historic Dvaravadi periods in Thailand.
Volume: 29
Number: 2
Page Start: 231
Page End: 237