The presence and age of large blade technology at the Shuidonggou site is a pivotal issue in discussions of the spread of blade technology in East Eurasia. Madsen and colleagues' influential work uses the dates (24,000-29,000 rcy BP [radiocarbon years before present]) they obtained from Shuidonggou Locality 2 to estimate the age of blade technology in this region, and suggested a very late arrival of Levallois-like blade technology from the north. This paper re-examines the evidence for the age of blade technology at Shuidonggou by comparing the lithic assemblages from the new excavations at Locality 2 with those from Locality 1. Several important points are demonstrated: (1) the lithic industry of cultural layers 1 through 4 at Locality 2 is not based on large blades, so reported dates from these layers cannot be an indicator of the age of large blade technology; (2) comparing Locality 1 and 2, the age of large blade technology appears to be around 34,000-38,000 calendar years BP (before present) in this region, suggesting a relatively rapid technology dispersal from the west and/or north; (3) the so-called 'Shuidonggou lower cultural layer' at Locality 1 includes both large blade and simple flake industries.
- Lithic industry/technology
- Radiocarbon dates
- Upper Paleolithic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics