Education & Certifications


  • Bachelor of Arts, Smith College, Anthropology, Art History (2014)

2018-19 Courses


All Publications


  • The origins of specialized pottery and diverse alcohol fermentation techniques in Early Neolithic China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Liu, L., Wang, J., Levin, M. J., Sinnott-Armstrong, N., Zhao, H., Zhao, Y., Shao, J., Di, N., Zhang, T. 2019

    Abstract

    In China, pottery containers first appeared about 20000 cal. BP, and became diverse in form during the Early Neolithic (9000-7000 cal. BP), signaling the emergence of functionally specialized vessels. China is also well-known for its early development of alcohol production. However, few studies have focused on the connections between the two technologies. Based on the analysis of residues (starch, phytolith, and fungus) adhering to pottery from two Early Neolithic sites in north China, here we demonstrate that three material changes occurring in the Early Neolithic signal innovation of specialized alcoholic making known in north China: (i) the spread of cereal domestication (millet and rice), (ii) the emergence of dedicated pottery types, particularly globular jars as liquid storage vessels, and (iii) the development of cereal-based alcohol production with at least two fermentation methods: the use of cereal malts and the use of moldy grain and herbs (qu and caoqu) as starters. The latter method was arguably a unique invention initiated in China, and our findings account for the earliest known examples of this technique. The major ingredients include broomcorn millet, Triticeae grasses, Job's tears, rice, beans, snake gourd root, ginger, possible yam and lily, and other plants, some probably with medicinal properties (e.g., ginger). Alcoholic beverages made with these methods were named li, jiu, and chang in ancient texts, first recorded in the Shang oracle-bone inscriptions (ca. 3200 cal. BP); our findings have revealed a much deeper history of these diverse fermentation technologies in China.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1902668116

    View details for PubMedID 31160461

  • Fermented beverage and food storage in 13,000 y-old stone mortars at Raqefet Cave, Israel: Investigating Natufian ritual feasting JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Liu, L., Wang, J., Rosenberg, D., Zhao, H., Lengyel, G., Nadel, D. 2018; 21: 783–93
  • Harvesting and processing wild cereals in the Upper Palaeolithic Yellow River Valley, China ANTIQUITY Liu, L., Levin, M. J., Bonomo, M. F., Wang, J., Shi, J., Chen, X., Han, J., Song, Y. 2018; 92 (363): 603–19
  • The first Neolithic urban center on China's north Loess Plateau: The rise and fall of Shimao ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA Sun, Z., Shao, J., Liu, L., Cui, J., Bonomo, M. F., Guo, Q., Wu, X., Wang, J. 2018; 14: 33–45
  • Plant exploitation of the first farmers in Northwest China: Microbotanical evidence from Dadiwan Quaternary International Wang, J., Zhao, X., Wang, H., Liu, L. 2018
  • Identifying ancient beer brewing through starch analysis: A methodology JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Wang, J., Liu, L., Georgescu, A., Le, V. V., Ota, M. H., Tang, S., Vanderbilt, M. 2017; 15: 150–60
  • Revealing a 5,000-y-old beer recipe in China PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Wang, J., Liu, L., Ball, T., Yu, L., Li, Y., Xing, F. 2016; 113 (23): 6444-6448

    Abstract

    The pottery vessels from the Mijiaya site reveal, to our knowledge, the first direct evidence of in situ beer making in China, based on the analyses of starch, phytolith, and chemical residues. Our data reveal a surprising beer recipe in which broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), and tubers were fermented together. The results indicate that people in China established advanced beer-brewing technology by using specialized tools and creating favorable fermentation conditions around 5,000 y ago. Our findings imply that early beer making may have motivated the initial translocation of barley from the Western Eurasia into the Central Plain of China before the crop became a part of agricultural subsistence in the region 3,000 y later.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1601465113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377155400039

    View details for PubMedID 27217567

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4988576