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Use-wear analysis confirms the use of Palaeolithic bone tools by the Lingjing Xuchang early human
ZhanYang Li,Chen Shen
Chinese Science Bulletin , 2010, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-010-3089-4
Abstract: During 2007–2008 excavations at the Lingjing site near Xuchang, Henan Province, dated back to around 100–80 ka ago, a large quantity of mammalian fossil remains were recovered along with a remarkable cluster of Early Modern Human (EMH) skull fragments in situ. Observably some of those animal bones were probably modified into tools. A use-wear analysis was carried out to examine the functions of modified bone tools. The results suggest that Lingjing bone tools were used for drilling, penetrating, and scraping animal substances, and that some might have been hafted during the use. This study confirms that early existence of intentionally-modified bone tools at human occupations of the early Late Pleistocene in northern China. This discovery suggests making and use of bone tools were inevitably a part of early human behaviors and cultural development, as such of stone tools.
Palaeolithic research at the Institute of Archaeology  [cached]
Andrew Garrard,Norah Moloney,Dietrich Stout,Ignacio de la Torre
Archaeology International , 2005, DOI: 10.5334/ai.0905
Abstract: Since its foundation in 1937, the Institute of Archaeology has been an important centre of research on Pleistocene environments and Palaeolithic archaeology. Frederick Zeuner (loA: 1937-1963) was greatly respected for his teaching and research on the subject, including his 1945 publication The Pleistocene period and John Waechter (loA: 1954-1978) for his Palaeolithic excavations at Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar and Swanscombe in the Thames Valley. Mark Newcomer (loA: 1973-1989) inspired many of the students with his experimental research on prehistoric bone and flint technology and for his innovative work on the microwear analysis of flint tools. In 1982, Mark Roberts began his excavations at the Lower Palaeolithic site of Boxgrove in Sussex and more recently Matthew Pope has been involved in an extensive survey of the Middle Pleistocene raised beaches along the south Sussex coast. Simon Parfitt has been undertaking groundbreaking research into the Lower Palaeolithic of East Anglia. Andrew Garrard and Norah Moloney joined the staff of the Institute of Archaeology in 1990 and 1994 respectively, and Dietrich Stout and Ignacio de la Torre in 2005. Each are involved in research relating to human developments through the Pleistocene and this is outlined in the four sections that follow. Several other staff also undertake research in related fields, including Ole Gron, Simon Hills on, Richard Macphail, Marcello Mannino, Tim Schadla-Hall, James Steele and Ken Thomas. The work of several of these has featured in recent issues of Archaeology International.
The Palaeolithic, preservation and the public  [cached]
Nicholas Stanley-Price
Archaeology International , 1999, DOI: 10.5334/ai.3016
Abstract: The caves and open sites of the Palaeolithic lack the monumental remains that attract visitors to many later prehistoric and historic sites, and they tend to be more difficult to preserve and interpret successfully to the public. These issues are examined through a comparison of three very different sites, in China, Tanzania and Portugal, two of which have been accorded World Heritage status.
Palaeolithic extinctions and the Taurid Complex  [PDF]
W. M. Napier
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16579.x
Abstract: Intersection with the debris of a large (50-100 km) short-period comet during the Upper Palaeolithic provides a satisfactory explanation for the catastrophe of celestial origin which has been postulated to have occurred around 12900 BP, and which presaged a return to ice age conditions of duration ~1300 years. The Taurid Complex appears to be the debris of this erstwhile comet; it includes at least 19 of the brightest near-Earth objects. Sub-kilometre bodies in meteor streams may present the greatest regional impact hazard on timescales of human concern.
Detection of chipped tooth in gears by the novel vibration residual technology  [PDF]
Len Gelman,Ian Jennions,I Petrunin
International Journal of Prognostics and Health Management , 2011,
Abstract: Novel vibration residual technology is applied for the first time for detecting a partly-missing (chipped) tooth in a gearbox of the machine fault simulator (MFS). One stage gearbox consists of two bevel gears. The load on the gearbox was applied by a magnetic brake system. An advanced automatic technology for the time synchronous averaging of the raw gear vibrations has been employed; this technology does not require speed data. An advanced technique based on the likelihood ratio is developed for decision making. A partly missing tooth has been continuously detected throughout the whole test duration without false alarms and missed detections.
Radiocarbon evidence of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Southwestern Europe
J?ris, Olaf,álvarez Fernández, Estebán,Weninger, Bernhard
Trabajos de Prehistoria , 2003,
Abstract: In the present paper we systematically evaluate the radiometric database underlying the Middle to Upper Palaeolithc transition in southwestern Europe.The different models which attempt to explain the demographical processes underlying this transition rely to a large degree on radiocarbon chronology. We observe that: 1) with increasing age, dates on bone samples show large offsets against those on charcoal, often underestimating these for several thousand years BP and; 2) there is no proof for a persistence of Middle Palaeolithic industries into the time of the earliest Aurignacian in SW Europe. These data contradict the “Ebro- Frontier” model that distinguishes Late Middle Palaeolithic industries in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula from early Aurignacian ones in the NE. On the contrary, our data 3) imply a model of interregional shifts of populations contracting during severe cold and arid phases and expanding under warmer, interstadial conditions, raising ideas on a regional in situ development of the SW European Aurignacian out of Latest Middle Palaeolithic industries made by Neanderthals some 40.0 kyr cal BC. Se presenta un estudio sistemático sobre la información radiometrica disponible para la transición Paleolítico Medio-Paleolítico Superior en el Suroeste de Europa. Los diferentes modelos para explicar el proceso demográfico que subyace en esta transición dependen en gran medida de la cronología radiocarbónica. Se observa que: 1) a mayor antiguedad las fechas sobre hueso muestran una mayor desvisación frente a las muestras sobre carbón, a menudo infravalorando estas varios miles de a os BP y 2) que no hay pruebas de perduración de industrias de Paleolítico Medio durante las fases tempranas del Auri aciense en el SW de Europa. Estos datos contradicen el modelo de “frontera del Ebro” que distingue industrias de Paleolítico Medio Tardío en el SW de la Península Ibérica de las industrias del Auri aciense temprano en el NE. Por el contrario, 3) nuestros datos implican un modelo de cambios de población interregional que se contrae durante las fases aridas y de frío severo y que se expande durante las fases más calidas de los interestadios, surgiendo la idea de un desarrollo regional del Auri aciense del SW europeo a partir de las industrias del Paleolítico Medio Tardío realizadas por los Neanderthales hace 40 kyr cal BC.
Early Upper Palaeolithic archaeology at Beedings, West Sussex: new contexts for Pleistocene archaeology  [cached]
Matthew Pope
Archaeology International , 2008, DOI: 10.5334/ai.1110
Abstract: The site of Beedings in Sussex was first recognized as the source of some exceptional Upper Palaeolithic flintwork in 1900, but subsequently disappeared from the archaeological literature. In the 1980s it was recognized again, but it was not until 2007–8 that in situ Palaeolithic archaeology was found at the site. In this article, the director of the excavations describes the discovery, within a network of geological fissures, of two separate industries, one Middle Palaeolithic and the other Early Upper Palaeolithic. The archaeology at Beedings spans a crucial cultural transition in the European Palaeolithic and therefore provides an important new dataset for the analysis of late Neanderthal groups in northern Europe and their replacement by modern human populations.
Divorcing the Late Upper Palaeolithic demographic histories of mtDNA haplogroups M1 and U6 in Africa  [cached]
Pennarun Erwan,Kivisild Toomas,Metspalu Ene,Metspalu Mait
BMC Evolutionary Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-234
Abstract: Background A Southwest Asian origin and dispersal to North Africa in the Early Upper Palaeolithic era has been inferred in previous studies for mtDNA haplogroups M1 and U6. Both haplogroups have been proposed to show similar geographic patterns and shared demographic histories. Results We report here 24 M1 and 33 U6 new complete mtDNA sequences that allow us to refine the existing phylogeny of these haplogroups. The resulting phylogenetic information was used to genotype a further 131 M1 and 91 U6 samples to determine the geographic spread of their sub-clades. No southwest Asian specific clades for M1 or U6 were discovered. U6 and M1 frequencies in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe do not follow similar patterns, and their sub-clade divisions do not appear to be compatible with their shared history reaching back to the Early Upper Palaeolithic. The Bayesian Skyline Plots testify to non-overlapping phases of expansion, and the haplogroups’ phylogenies suggest that there are U6 sub-clades that expanded earlier than those in M1. Some M1 and U6 sub-clades could be linked with certain events. For example, U6a1 and M1b, with their coalescent ages of ~20,000–22,000 years ago and earliest inferred expansion in northwest Africa, could coincide with the flourishing of the Iberomaurusian industry, whilst U6b and M1b1 appeared at the time of the Capsian culture. Conclusions Our high-resolution phylogenetic dissection of both haplogroups and coalescent time assessments suggest that the extant main branching pattern of both haplogroups arose and diversified in the mid-later Upper Palaeolithic, with some sub-clades concomitantly with the expansion of the Iberomaurusian industry. Carriers of these maternal lineages have been later absorbed into and diversified further during the spread of Afro-Asiatic languages in North and East Africa.
New Hydroxyproline Radiocarbon Dates from Sungir, Russia, Confirm Early Mid Upper Palaeolithic Burials in Eurasia  [PDF]
Shweta Nalawade-Chavan, James McCullagh, Robert Hedges
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076896
Abstract: Sungir (Russia) is a key Mid-Upper Palaeolithic site in Eurasia, containing several spectacular burials that disclose early evidence for complex burial rites in the form of a range of grave goods deposited along with the dead. Dating has been particularly challenging, with multiple radiocarbon dates ranging from 19,160±270 to 28,800±240 BP for burials that are believed to be closely similar in age. There are disparities in the radiocarbon dates of human bones, faunal remains and charcoal found on the floor of burials [1], [2], [3]. Our approach has been to develop compound-specific methods using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to separate single amino acids, such as hydroxyproline, and thereby avoid the known human contamination on the bones themselves. Previously, we applied this technique to obtain radiocarbon dates of ~30,000 BP for Sungir 2, Sungir 3 and a mammoth bone from the occupation levels of the site [4]. The single amino acid radiocarbon dates were in good agreement with each other compared to all the dates previously reported, supporting their reliability. Here we report new hydroxyproline dates for two more human burials from the same site, Sungir 1 and Sungir 4. All five hydroxyproline dates reported are statistically indistinguishable and support an identical age for the group. The results suggest that compound-specific radiocarbon analysis should be considered seriously as the method of choice when precious archaeological remains are to be dated because they give a demonstrably contaminant-free radiocarbon age. The new ages are, together with the previously dated ‘Red Lady of Paviland’ human in the British Isles, the earliest for Mid Upper Palaeolithic burial behaviour in Eurasia, and point to the precocious appearance of this form of rite in Europe Russia.
Early Palaeolithic Cultural Facies and the Levalloisian at Baker's Hole
Francis Wenban-Smith
Papers from the Institute of Archaeology , 1992, DOI: 10.5334/pia.36
Abstract: The purpose of this short paper is to use the lithic material recovered from the site of Baker's Hole to demonstrate the point that the classificatory framework generally in operation for British, and also other European, Early Palaeolithic lithic material is overly simplified. The pigeon-holing of assemblages into one of a restricted number of industrial variants, or cultural facies, based on the presence and relative predominance of selected tool-types or knapping techniques, has served to obscure the variety and complexity of Early Palaeolithic lithic technology. The particular lithic industrial variant discussed in this paper is the Levalloisian.
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