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Modern human behaviors during the late stage of the MIS3 and the broad spectrum revolution: Evidence from a Shuidonggou Late Paleolithic site
Ying Guan,Xing Gao,Feng Li,ShuWen Pei,FuYou Chen,ZhenYu Zhou
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-011-4828-x
Abstract: The last glacial period was vital for the distribution and evolution of early modern humans in Asia. The Shuidonggou Late Paleolithic site, dated at 30–20 ka BP, accumulated cultural remains during the important late stage of MIS 3 period in the last glacial. These remains represent characteristics of typical Late Paleolithic conditions in North China: high degree of standardization and morphological variability of tool types, exploitation of bone materials, systematic use of body decorations, extensive use of earth-pit hearths, distinct functional spatial organization within habitations, and conversion of subsistence patterns. These characteristics illustrate early modern human behaviors during the late MIS3 period, and provide clues and perspectives for the analysis of early modern human origins in China. At the same time, the conversion of subsistence patterns is considered to be a combination of multiple early modern human behaviors, as well as the result of the Broad Spectrum Revolution. In this paper, we argue for the dynamic mechanism of Broad Spectrum Revolution from a human behavioral and ecological perspective.
An engraved artifact from Shuidonggou, an Early Late Paleolithic Site in Northwest China
Fei Peng,Xing Gao,HuiMin Wang,FuYou Chen,DeCheng Liu,ShuWen Pei
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-012-5317-6
Abstract: Cognition and symbolic thinking are viewed as important features of modern human behavior. Engraved objects are seen as a hallmark of cognition and symbolism, and even as evidence for language. Accumulated evidences including engraved bones, ochre, ostrich eggshells and stone artifacts were unearthed from Africa, Europe, Levant even Siberia Paleolithic sites. But the archaeological evidence for this, including beads, ornaments, burials, performed objects and engraved objects, is rarely discovered in the Pleistocene of East Asia. The present paper reports an engraved stone object unearthed in the Early Late Paleolithic levels about 30 ka BP at the Shuidonggou site (SDG) in northwestern China. It was unearthed in the 1980’s excavation from Lower culture unit of SDG1 but was identified in 2011 when the first author of this article observed the collection from the 1980’s excavations stored in the Institute of Archaeology of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region for further detailed lithic analysis. This lithic artifact is the first engraved non-organic object of the Paleolithic period found in China. In order to clarify the details of the incisions and to document the human intentional modifications, we used a KEYENCE VHX-600 Digital Microscope to measure and observe all the incisions in 3-dimensional perspective. Comparing the natural cracks and analyzing many details of the incisions, we argue that incisions on this stone artifact are the result of intentional behaviors by ancient humans. Also, we exclude the possible other causes including animal-induced damages, post-depositional phenomenon and unintentional by-products. Combining all these features, we suggest that the incisions were made by an intentional behavior and were probably of a non-utilitarian character. Because the nature of most other engraved objects in China is debate, we cannot get a clear scenario of the emergence and progress of modern human behavior in North China. But we infer the possible existence of a counting or recording system, or other symbolic behaviors, which reflect considerably evolved cognitive capacities or modern human behavior in the Early Late Paleolithic of East Asia.
Spatial analysis of intra-site use at a Late Paleolithic site at Shuidonggou, Northwest China
Ying Guan,Xing Gao,HuiMin Wang,FuYou Chen,ShuWen Pei,XiaoLing Zhang,ZhenYu Zhou
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-011-4682-x
Abstract: Intra-site spatial analysis provides an alternative perspective for understanding the functions of a site, and the occupational organization of early human living and activities associated with it. We examined features and cultural remains recovered from Locality 2 at Shuidonggou, a Late Paleolithic site, focusing on early occupants’ survival behaviors and settlement patterns, as indicated by evidence regarding the functional organization of the site. Three-dimensional data from unearthed remains (including lithic assemblages, faunal remains, ornaments, etc) were used to reconstruct intra-site use patterns of Cultural Layer 2, which yielded seven earth-pit hearths and tens of thousands of artifacts and bones. We discuss the population size and group composition, as well as the functions of the living spaces, based on the analysis of the hearth patterns and the ostrich eggshell ornaments surround the hearths. In conclusion, Cultural Layer 2 of SDG Locality 2 appears to have functioned as a base camp for ancient foragers, where occupants produced tools, as well as preparing and consuming food.
Analysis of sedimentary-geomorphologic variation and the living environment of hominids at the Shuidonggou Paleolithic site
Xing Gao,BaoYin Yuan,ShuWen Pei,HuiMin Wang,FuYou Chen,XingWu Feng
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2008, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-008-0264-y
Abstract: Shuidonggou is one of the most important Upper Paleolithic sites in North China. Due to the presence of rich human remains, animal fossils, abundant sporopollen and unique geological sequence, it is the type site for Late Pleistocene to Holocene human occupation and environmental change in the Ningxia-Inner Mongolia region. Many scholars suggest that the site should be named the “Shuidonggou Formation” of Late Pleistocene in North China. Dating results indicate that ancient human activities at the site took place 30–24 ka (Marine Isotope Stage [MIS] 3). The climate at that time was warmer and moister than present day, and adequate precipitation led to the formation of water pack depressions where broad-leaf trees and sparse forest vegetations, as well as herbivorous animals flourished, making the area suitable for early human hunting, gathering and survival. The Neolithic human occupation happened 9–5 ka at the site, while similar environmental conditions with MIS3 occurred. The absence of human activity record in the region during the Last Glacial Maximum (MIS2) suggests that the environment was too harsh for humans to live there.
Progress in the stratigraphy and geochronology of the Shuidonggou site, Ningxia, North China
DeCheng Liu,XuLong Wang,Xing Gao,ZhengKai Xia,ShuWen Pei,FuYou Chen,HuiMing Wang
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2009, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-009-0652-y
Abstract: In the past years we carried out further stratigraphy division in field and it is found that rich stone artifacts can be found in fluvial-shallow lake-alluvial sediments on the terrace II of Biangou River, in Shuidonggou site, Ningxia and they are SDG1, 2 and 7. More luminescence and AMS 14C dating in laboratory show that Paleolithic culture develops during the Upper Paleolithic period with ages of 35–20 ka. The Paleolithic culture of SDG 1 is a little earlier than that of SDG 2 similar to SDG 7. The sandy sediments on terrace II of Biangou River deposits in the past 72–18 ka, corresponding to Last Glacial. SDG2 has a stable sedimentary environment, resulting in the continuous stratigraphy, thickest deposits and rich environment and culture information, which can be regarded as the important and classic paleoanthropological section of Late Pleistocene in this region.
Paleoecologic Situation of Late Paleolithic in Zapadny Manych River Valley
Nikita V. Lavrentev,Andrey L. Chepalyga,Viktor V. Tsybrii,Galina N. Shilova
European Researcher , 2012,
Abstract: The article presents the results of palaeogeographic research at deposits in Yulovskaya archaeological site, the only monument of late Paleolithic in Manych River Valley.
The Persistence of Mode 1 Technology in the Korean Late Paleolithic  [PDF]
Hyeong Woo Lee
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064999
Abstract: Ssangjungri (SJ), an open-air site with several Paleolithic horizons, was recently discovered in South Korea. Most of the identified artifacts are simple core and flake tools that indicate an expedient knapping strategy. Bifacially worked core tools, which might be considered non-classic bifaces, also have been found. The prolific horizons at the site were dated by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to about 30 kya. Another newly discovered Paleolithic open-air site, Jeungsan (JS), shows a homogeneous lithic pattern during this period. The dominated artifact types and usage of raw materials are similar in character to those from SJ, although JS yielded a larger number of simple core and flake tools with non-classic bifaces. Chronometric analysis by AMS and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) indicate that the prime stratigraphic levels at JS also date to approximately 30 kya, and the numerous conjoining pieces indicate that the layers were not seriously affected by post-depositional processes. Thus, it can be confirmed that simple core and flake tools were produced at temporally and culturally independent sites until after 30 kya, supporting the hypothesis of a wide and persistent use of simple technology into the Late Pleistocene.
SHUIDONGGOU: A VANE OF INTERCOMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE EAST AND THE WEST?--DISCUSSION ABOUT SMALL TOOL CULTURE IN NORTH CHINA AND A HYPOTHESIS OF THE "LITHIC ROAD"
水洞沟:东西方文化交流的风向标?——兼论华北小石器文化和“石器之路”的假说

Hou Yamei,
侯亚梅

第四纪研究 , 2005,
Abstract: Since the first discovery of Shuidonggou (SDG) culture, its western characters of Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic has attracted much attention and adduced as favorable evidence of communication between the East and the West. However, it is still vague about how the communication occurred in this cultural phenomenon, or it is just telling one story of “complete influence from the West”. By recognizing the existence of Levallois technique in SDG culture this opinion can only be reinforced. Whereas, new evidence make it possible to be doubted and survey anew the content and significance of the culture. Based on many fine researching work made by scholars home and abroad, a pertinent study has been carried out and many common phenomena of typical Paleolithic sites in North China and circumjacent region have been revealed. Among them, the “Donggutuo (DGT) core” identified by the present author from SDG and some other sites is taken as a key clue and full characteristic of Eastern cultural style rooted in the East far time ago. Corresponding to Levallois core in the West, the DGT core is an Eastern example as a cultural mark in prehistoric time. Nay, it had been exported and transported into a big surrounding area in North China and Northeastern Asia. The “DGT core” and relevant cultural assemblages provide a lineal development of Paleolithic culture in North China. It represents the most primitive shape of narrow-shaped core which has been researched as a rooted type of microlithic wedge-shaped core in the vast territory of Northeast Asia, especially in East Asia. The “DGT core” can be taken as the earliest and the most important evidence of the origin of microblade cultural tradition and supports the Northern China Origin of microblade tradition. This issue not only concerns the problem of origin of early human but also modern human. The evidence is consistent with the theory of “Continuity and Hybridization”. Therefore, the author brings forward a new perspective on situation of SDG culture in communication between the East and the West through the reappearance of “DGT core”, and discusses the dominant and diffusive role played by the small tool industry of North China. Further, the author points out the necessity of establishing concepts of “North China center” and “local-originated, dominance and diffusion of small tool culture in North China”. A hypothesis of “Pre-Silk Road” namely “Lithic Road” is also proposed by the author in the article. Like many Middle and Upper Paleolithic sites in Middle and North Asia, SDG culture is supposed as one example of a vane of indicating the Eastern and the Western intercommunication and diffusion along the road during that time. Meanwhile, some relevant evidence of anthropology has also been well discussed. Finally the driving force of cultural development and continuity compelled by environmental change is very much emphasized in the article as well as evidence presented from both archaeology and ant
HACIA EL COMPORTAMIENTO HUMANO MODERNO. NUEVAS APORTACIONES AL PALEOLíTICO MEDIO FINAL EN EL VALLE DEL RíO ARLANZA (HORTIGüELA, BURGOS, ESPA A) (Understanding modern human behavior. New contributions from the later Middle Paleolithic in the Arlanza river valley)  [cached]
Marta Navazo
Arqueología Iberoamericana , 2010,
Abstract: En el valle medio del Arlanza (Hortigüela, Burgos) se conocen dos asentamientos musterienses ya clásicos en la bibliografía: Millán y La Ermita. En este trabajo se incorporan estudios que permiten un mejor y actualizado conocimiento de los mismos en base al análisis de uno de los niveles de Millán, la caracterización geoquímica de los afloramientos de sílex de la zona, y del material arqueológico, para conocer las fuentes de aprovisionamiento; y los sistemas de explotación y configuración de ambas cavidades. El estudio derivado del valle medio del Arlanza, a partir de sus características tecnológicas y cronología (Paleolítico medio final), da pie para abordar un interesante debate abierto sobre el surgimiento del comportamiento humano moderno, reflexionando sobre si las características que han servido para definir dicha conducta son exclusivas del Homo sapiens o si, por el contrario, esos procesos de cambio ya estaban presentes al final del Paleolítico medio. ENGLISH: In the middle valley of the Arlanza river (Hortigüela, Burgos), two classic Mousterian sites, Millán and La Ermita, have been documented. This paper enhances and updates the previously known information about these sites. The study includes the analysis of one of the Millán levels, geochemical characterization of the flint outcrops in the zone and artifacts found in the archaeological record, with a view to ascertaining lithic material sources, and the exploitation systems characterizing both sites. The chronological position of these late Middle Paleolithic settlements facilitates a discussion about whether the characteristics that have served to define modern human behavior are exclusive to Homo sapiens or if, on the contrary, the markers of change were already present at the end of the Middle Paleolithic.
Behavioral differences between Neandertals and Modern humans?: the case of the Middle Paleolithic in the Near East
de la Torre Sáinz, Ignacio,Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel
Trabajos de Prehistoria , 2001,
Abstract: The Near East region is unique for the study of the behavior of Neandertals and early modern humans, since both types of hominids appear together in the same space within a limited time framework (Early Upper Pleistocene). In recent years, several hypotheses have been proposed to explain differential behaviors in these hominids. In this work, the conclusions obtained by different researchers in this regard are analyzed. The theories arguing for different behaviors between neandertals and modern humans are revised critically. La región del Próximo Oriente es única para el estudio de las diferencias conductuales entre neandertales y humanos modernos, pues aparecen juntos en un restringido espacio temporal y en un rango cronológico definido, el Pleistoceno superior inicial. En los últimos a os, se han propuesto varias hipótesis sobre las posibles distinciones en el comportamiento de unos y otros homínidos. En el presente estudio se analizan las conclusiones obtenidas por los investigadores que trabajan en la zona, y se replantean las teorías que abogan por una diferenciación conductual entre los neandertales y los humanos anatómicamente modernos del Próximo Oriente.
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