Disparate stone age technological evolution in north china lithic technological variability and relations between populations during mis 3

Li Feng, Steven L. Kuhn, John W. Olsen, Fuyou Chen, Xing Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The transition from Middle to Upper Paleolithic and the global diffusion of modern human populations remain hotly debated topics. The timing and pace of the transition in China are especially uncertain. This paper examines spatial and temporal variation among Paleolithic assemblages in North China dated to Marine Isotope Stage 3. There are two main systems of blank production in evidence: one is Levallois-like whereas the other involves simple unprepared fl ake cores. The Levallois-like assemblages are limited to northwest China: further dispersal of the technology was probably hindered by the presence of established populations in the eastern part of North China using long-established fl ake core technology. Consequently we should view North China as consisting of two geographic entities with respect to research on the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. Changes within fl ake assemblages represent an independent pattern of cultural evolution, and it will be important to clarify when and how other aspects of Upper Paleolithic behavior were expressed there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-67
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Anthropological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Flake technology
  • Levallois technology
  • Marine Isotope Stage 3
  • Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition
  • North China
  • Population interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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