Re-examination of the dates of large blade technology in China: A comparison of Shuidonggou Locality 1 and Locality 2

Feng Li, Steven L. Kuhn, Xing Gao, Fu you Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of human evolution
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Asia
  • Lithic industry/technology
  • Radiocarbon dates
  • Upper Paleolithic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

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