One of the clearest indications at Yema-po that the Chinese laborers maintained there own culture in the face of surrounding Euro-American influence is in the form of food remains. Food has always been central to Chinese culture and Chinese philosophy of life. For instance, some foods are considered "cold" or Yin, while some are "hot" or Yang.

Cal State student archaeologists excavated more than 20,000 animal bones from Yema-po during 1980 and 1981. These bones reveal a number of interesting things about the Chinese men who built the San Leandro Reservoir.

Identification of the animal bones from Yema-po tells us what kinds of meat the Chinese laborers were eating. The graph below shows the proportions of each animal in the diet. Click on the names of the animals to learn more about their uses at Yema-po.

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