Archeological studies of coastal sites have yielded a large body of information regarding the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and the coastal adaptations of various hominin groups. Coastal areas have been attractive to humans since at least the late Middle Pleistocene, according to research conducted in Africa and the circum-Mediterranean region. However, little information concerning Paleolithic occupations has come to light in coastal areas of China. Here, we report on the chronology, archeology and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Pleistocene Dazhushan site on the east coast of the Shandong Peninsula in North China. Evidence indicates that prehistoric humans employing a flake technology occupied the current coastal area of the peninsula by at least early Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3; c. 57–29 ka) when the region was an inland area dominated by a mixed broadleaved forest and grassland environment occupied by terrestrial herbivores. Based on archeological evidence brought to light along the current Chinese coastline, correlated with sea level changes that have occurred since MIS 3, we suggest that future studies of coastal migrations and adaptations in eastern China will be considerably enhanced by a deeper understanding of the geomorphological evolution of those coastal regions.
- Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3)
- Paleolithic adaptations
- sea level change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)