Abundant blade segments at Shuidonggou, Locality 1: Intentional or accidental?

Steven L Kuhn, Feng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Blades in the Initial Upper Paleolithic assemblages from Shuidonggou, Locality 1 (SDG1) are frequently fragmented. Complete blades are rare and proximal, medial and distal blade segments are abundant in the collections from various excavation campaigns at the site. Using a large sample of artifacts from 1963 excavations at the SDG 1 site, this paper evaluates the hypothesis that blades were intentionally broken into regular sections, perhaps to facilitate their insertion into armatures of composite tools. The scarcity of traces of percussion and hafting-related modification, and the non-standardized lengths of segments do not suggest intentional human intervention in sectioning the blades. Instead, the strong correlation between segment length and a measure of blade strength suggests that most if not all blade sections resulted from accidental breakage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchaeological Research in Asia
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Blade technology
  • Composite tools
  • Hafting
  • Initial Upper Paleolithic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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