martes, 21 de agosto de 2012

New excavations from Shuidonggou show initial appearance of the late Paleolithic in Northern China

Many behavioral and technological innovations appear in the archaeological record of Eurasia between about 45,000 and 24,000 years ago. This period has been termed the "initial Upper Paleolithic" and is largely associated with movements of modern humans into that part of the world and/or the complex interplay between population movements and environmental, demographic and cultural influences.

Paleolithic cultural development in eastern Asia is generally thought significantly different from that of the western Old World. In particular, the Chinese Paleolithic was dominated by simple core and flake tool industries, and Middle Paleolithic technologies (e.g., Levallois) were absent or appear very late in the record. In contrast with the western Old World, a distinct “Middle” Paleolithic has not yet been identified in China and broader eastern Asia. Nevertheless, major technological and cultural changes did occur in the northern China about 30,000–27,000 years ago in the form of an “initial Upper Paleolithic”, termed the "initial Late Paleolithic" in China, although these assemblages are extremely limited in number.

Shuidonggou is presently the most important site complex for the initial Late Paleolithic in northern China. In a paper published online July 10, 2012 in the Journal of Archaeological Science, an international research team reported new findings from a multidisciplinary research project led by Drs. GAO Xin and PEI Shuwen, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, at the Shuidonggou site complex in northern China, a series of localities that date from the initial Late Paleolithic to the Neolithic, helping better understand the development of Paleolithic culture and the movement of modern human populations in North China...

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