This paper proposes an analytical protocol for the study of early Palaeolithic stone tools. Our proposal follows a macroscopic approach and therefore does not cover the equally-important analysis of microscopic traces. Also, it focuses on techno-typological attributes of pre-Middle Palaeolithic artefact, thus avoiding entering into the discussion of the techno-morphological and regional particularities inherent to the lithic record from the Middle Stone Age onwards. Given the overall similarities of technological solutions employed during the Early Stone Age lithic assemblages and their relative typological homogeneity across the Old World, we argue that using standardized protocols in the description of stone tool collections may improve comparability and help understanding global patterns of technological behaviour across the early Palaeolithic. From this perspective, this paper will review the main theoretical approaches to the study of Early Stone Age stone assemblages and will propose analytical perspectives and terminologies in the description of flaked, detached and pounded tools, as well in the study of refits and conventions in artefact measuring and illustration.
The Locality 10 of Wulanmulun River is the only one that has culture layers in all of the localities of the Wulanmulun River. It is far away Wulanmulun site about 9 kilometers. From the test excavation at the locality in 2013-2014, 789 specimen have been found in 3 excavation areas, included 356 stone artifacts. There are cores, flakes, tools and chunks. The tools appear with denticulates, scrapers, notches and tanged points. The raw material are mainly quartzite, and a little quartz and chert, which are normally seen from the bedrock of the old river. Considering of the cultural features and contrast with Wulanmulun site, it belongs to the late middle Paleolithic period.
The Xigouwan Paleolithic Locality 1(XGW1), situated in Zhuwoyuan village, Guanting town, Huailai county of Hebei Province, is a newly discovered Upper Paleolithic site which can be dated to 41~34 kaBP by AMS-14C dating. The archaeological remains were buried in the second terrace of the right bank of the Yongding River. This paleolithic locality was excavated from August to September, 2015, which exposed an area of 27 m2, and 232 stone specimens were unearthed (including 218 stone artifacts and 14 natural pebbles). The lithic assemblage of XGW1 includes cores (n=8), flakes (n=141), chunks(n=68), a hammerstone (n=1), but there were no retouched pieces found. According to the lithic refitting practice, 41 stone artifacts can be combined into 14 refitted groups, which indicates a refitting success ratio of 18.8%. There are two different patterns (approaches) could be applied in the current refitting analysis, one is the pattern of “conjoining”, and the other is “joining”. Based on the lithic types, the refitted groups can be divided into four classes: cores and flakes (including whole flakes, debris and chunks), flakes and flakes (including debris and chunks), debris and chunks, and hammerstone and chunks. Combining the spatial distribution of the assemblage and the preservation status of the stone artifacts, the refitting patterns and relationships are effective for evaluating the site formation process and analyzing the flaking technique used by the ancient occupants. As shown by the characteristics of stone artifacts and the flaking sequence of the cores-flakes refitted groups from XGW1, direct hard hammer percussion was the unique flaking technique, and the reduction strategy of cores (flake production without core preparation) is to look for the suitable platforms and working surfaces by changing flaking direction. Based on the spatial analysis of the stone artifacts, the average distance(d) of vertical movement of the refitted groups of XGW1 is relatively short (d<22 cm) from the view of the vertical distribution. As for the horizontal distribution, the average distance of the cores-flakes refitted groups (266 cm) and the flakes-flakes refitted groups (146 cm) is relatively long which indicates that there might be a complex behavior of moving the raw materials by human during the flaking process. Based on the combination of different evidences, such as the size (mainly small ones) and weight (78.9% of them is lighter than 25 g) of the stone artifacts, the relatively high refitting success ratio (18.8%), the spatial distribution of refitted groups, the light degree of weathering and abrasion, etc, inferences could be concluded that the archaeological deposits of XWG1 had undergone light hydraulic disturbance, and the human behavior was the dominant reason for the formation of archaeological remains at this Late Paleolithic site.
Spheroid is a widely distributed tool type of the Paleolithic, from the Oldowan to Upper Paleolithic, all over the Old World. To date there are many divergent arguments about its manufacture and function. This study based on the archaeological records of China, where thousands of spheroids were found in 80 Paleolithic sites. Their forms include flaked spheroids and the highly rounded ones with battered surfaces, and the raw materials used vary from relatively soft limestone to quartzite. The metric data indicate it has an apparently skewed popularity in their size and weight, in accord with the size of male adults’ palm. An experimental approach is used to examine the techniques in the manufacture of spheroid, define the time cost of production, and test a functional possibility. Experiments suggest that the manufacture of spheroids is time costly, more expensive than the handaxe, more hours needed to produce a smoother surface. The dominant average size indicates that this tool was most likely used with freehand throwing. Throwing experiment shows, in relative to their distance, there is an optimal size and weight in spheroids. Combining archaeological context in which spheroids were found, we can conclude that spheroids could be a hunting tool, but shorter in shooting distance, more risky, and more opportunistic than the Upper Paleolithic hunting tools.
Endscraper is a kind of typical stone tool. Although its retouching is quite simple, endscraper has great potential in studying human behavior, subsistence and adaptation to the environment. There are many researches on endscraper, including knapping technology, usage mode, functional analysis and so on. But in China, most of research is about typology and the functional research of endscraper is scarce. By combining the knapping and use of endscraper with the microwear analysis, we conduct a research about endscraper function. The result suggests that: 1) These endscrapers which are collected from the Xiabozhuang site, Nihewan Basin, North China, are mainly used to process hides, especially wed hides; 2) These stone tools are also used to process wood directly; 3)These tools were resharpened again when them became blunt, and after processing hides, some endscrapers were used to handle the wood until discarded.
The Sunzhuang site, located in the south of Sunzhuang Village, Zhongyuan District, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, is a late Yangshao cultural site distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Through the measurement and observation of 10 cases of basically intact skulls unearthed from the site, the following conclusions are drawn: The craniofacial features of Sunzhuang group can be summarized as follows: high cranial type combined with narrow cranial type, moderate to large facial flatness, narrow frontal type, middle nasal type, low orbital type, middle facial angle belonging to flat jaw type, underdeveloped canine dentate fossa and nasal root fossa. Simple parietal suture. The morphological characteristics of the skulls of the ancient residents of the Sunzhuang formation belong to the Asian Mongolian nationality. The results of the multivariate statistical analysis of the morphological characteristics of the skull showed that the Sunzhuang formation is most closely related to the modern South China formation (R=1.26) of Asian Mongolians, and is estranged from the modern Mongolian group (R=1.80) and Tungus group (R=2.06). In comparison with Neolithic formation, the relationship between Sunzhuang male formation and Yangshao merge formation (R=1.00), Miaozigou formation (R=1.00), Xishan formation (R=1.07) and Dawenkou formation (R=1.13) is close. Sunzhuang female group is closest to Dawenkou group (Dij=3.10), Xubao group (Dij=4.58) and Xishan group (Dij=4.60). In summary, We can see that the middle and late Yangshao people distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River have the same craniofacial characteristics and high homology, and should belong to the “ancient Central Plains type” residents.
The Daxinzhuang site, located in the Daxinzhuang village of Licheng district of Jinan city. It’s known as the largest remains of Shang dynasty in Shandong, and the discovery of oracle bone scripts and other abundant remains which have a great significance to the study of Shang culture in Shandong province. This paper described the incidence of observable dental diseases in a sample of 45 individuals from 2003 and 2010 in the Daxinzhuang site of Shang Dynasty. Especially of the discuss of dental caries, periodontal disease, dental calculus and tooth wear. The results of statistical analysis indicate the following patterns: 1) There was no significant difference of dental diseases rates found between males and females but dental calculus, and females have higher rates of dental diseases than males as a whole. 2) There was a significant difference of the dental diseases rates in the age group, and the risk of dental diseases increases with age. 3) Dental caries, periodontal disease, and dental calculus were frequently found in molars; 4) Rate of dental diseases associated with tooth wear. Severely tooth wear has an increased risk of dental diseases, especially in periodontal disease; 5) The incidence of dental diseases is not only affected by gender, age, tooth position, and the degree of tooth wear, but also associated with the food structure of the agricultural economic development of the ancient inhabitants of Shang dynasty of Daxinzhuang site.
Environmental temperature has a significant impact on human body size and its proportions, which is often referred to as Allen’s rule, that warm-regional species tend to display shorter appendages (limbs, ears and tails) than cold-region ones. But recent studies have paid less attention to this Allen’s rule in physical anthropology. Thus, this paper studies the relationships between absolute and relative limb size and temperature among different regional populations to test whether Allen’s rule exists in modern Chinese populations. We collected 17 measurements of the upper and lower limbs in modern Chinese populations from 102 sites, and took mean annual temperature (MAT), annual highest temperature, annual lowest temperature and annual range of temperature as the temperature indices. As the environmental temperature decrease, the upper limb tends to become shorter and robust, and the lower limbs become longer. The results also showed a positive correlation of most limb measurements and MAT, whereas the stature-upper limb length index is negatively correlated with MAT. Based on the above results, we suggest the temperature can be taken as an environmental selection pressure that play more important roles in shaping the upper limbs than that of the lower limbs. Moreover, the variation of limb morphology in modern Chinese populations is not completely in accordance with Allen’s rule, which may be associated with the development of body proportions under the combined effect of influential factors including genetic background, geographical climate conditions, functional requirements (biped or dexterous manipulation), survival strategy and nutrition.
The Chinese Sherpa are unidentified ethnic groups.The paper studied the somatotyping characteristics of the Chinese Sherpa. Comparing Sherpa with other ethnic groups in China, it provided the new evidence for the study of the Sherpa’s ethnic origin from the perspective of physical anthropology. Methods: The Sherpa’s physical data were measured.The Heath-Carter method was used to calculate the Sherpa’s somatotyping value.The principal component analysis was used to analyze the characteristics and similarity of the Sherpa and other ethnic groups. Putting forward the viewpoint of the Sherpa’s ethnic origin from the aspect of physical anthropology. Results: The males of Sherpa were Balance Mesomorph. They had moderate body fat, strong bones and muscles, and moderate linearity. The females of Sherpa were Endomorphic Mesomorph. They had lean body fat, medium bones and muscles, and moderate linearity. The somatotyping characteristics of Sherpa were close to Nu, Muya and Ersu. The body characteristics analysis didn’t support the vew that the Sherpa was a Tibetan branch. Conclusions: The somatotyping characteristics supported the view that the Sherpa originated from Tangut.
Traditionally, phenotype features collection and measurement analysis in physical anthropology have relied heavily on manual measurements and observational evaluations, for which inter-observer error, and labour-intensity in large-scale sample collection present major challenges. Recently, 3D measuring technology is more and more used as a faster, more efficient and accurate human face phenotyping method which extracts more detailed human face phenotype features and characteristics those could not be captured and measured accurately by the traditional way. Based on 3D human face model, this research introduces an accurate and robust land-marking method by using 3D mesh curvature and vertexes neighborhood feature processing. With this land-marking method, the endocanthions and pronasale are located on the 3D human face mesh with accuracy higher than 98%, additionally, more human face feature points such as nasion, subnasale, left and right alares and the deepest points on the lateral side of alares are located accurately. According to these feature points located on the 3D human face mesh, an efficient quantification analysis system of observational phenotype features is established, features like asal depth, nasion height, facial flatness, etc. are measured and analyzed. In order to analyze sexual dimorphism in Modern Chinese population, phenotype features extracted from 3D human face meshs and manual morphometrics are compared and evaluated. It was found that most of facial phenotype features had gender differences in the Modern Chinese population, and nasal depth, nasion height and facial flatness present the most significant differences, with Value P<0.01 in the Z-Test. The result shows that men’s noses were larger and protruding frontwards than women’s, while women’s faces are flatter accordingly.
The lower lumbar foramina of normal Korean Yanbian adults were studied in this paper, with measurements taken through X-ray film providing comparative data for endoscopic spinal surgery for different ethnic groups. The statistically analyzed results showed no significant difference in the morphology of the lower lumbar foramina between normal adult males and females, while the significant differences were found between this research and other researches.
Shanxi Province in China is abundant with Paleolithic sites. In the southwestern part of the province where most of early finds were located, Pinglu is an area lacking researches compared to its vicinities. This report presents the result of a series of Paleolithic fieldwork in Pinglu, conducted by Shanxi University in 2018. Stone artefacts were collected from 10 localities, 6 of which were confirmed with clear stratigraphy and the other 4 found in uncertain contexts. Stone artefacts included cores (n=9), flakes (n=5), chunks (n=16), chips (n=7) and retouched items (n=8). Raw material was primarily quartz probably collected by ancient humans from the riverbed. Hard hammer percussion and bipolar flaking were the main flaking technique. The scraper was the only type of retouched items found, which were modified mostly on chunks by hard hammer flaking percussion bifacially. Through these technological characteristics of flake tools, it exhibits close ties with sites such as Xishi, Dongshi, Xuchang and Fangjiagou, which were with evidence of both flake tool tradition and microlithic technology, demonstrating some clues of these two technologies. Stratigraphic observation suggests that 5 of 6 localities with stratigraphy were formed in Late Pleistocene, the other one formed in Late Middle Pleistocene. The southwestern part of Shanxi Province is an important area near the Yellow River, abundant with sites from Early Paleolithic to Late Paleolithic. It is a key region of human occupation and dispersal in north China, and of the emergence and dispersal of the microlithic, which will provide clues for interpreting human adaptive behaviour, migration and interaction during Late Pleistocene.
Tooth wear is a multifactorial, multistage, complex and gradual process characterized by progressive loss of hard dental tissues, which could indicate dietary structure and lifestyle to some extent. Many foreign scholars have explored the tooth wear of children, including deciduous and permanent teeth wear difference, tooth wear patterns of children, and the relationship between tooth wear and malocclusion, as well as its possible related factors consisting of age, gender, dietary habit, weaning time, social division of labor and socio-economic status. However, compared with foreign research, domestic research on tooth wear of children is scarce. By summarizing related literature, this article briefly reviews the research on children’s tooth wear and gives an outlook on future research of children’s tooth wear in China.
Facial appearances are one of the most important features of humans. Facial shapes relied heavily on the geometric shape of skulls, craniofacial morphology relationship between skulls and faces and gender, age, ethnic, body mass index (BMI), nutritional status, etc. After the humans’ skeletons are excavated from archaeological sites, facial soft-tissue tissues and muscles usually have been disappeared. It has become one of hot topics for anthropologists and arachnologists to predict the facial appearances of these unidentified skulls. Traditional craniofacial reconstruction (CFR) methods are based on manual technologies that anthropologists collaborated with artists to model a facial appearance on a skull replica with plasticine. During recent thirty years, the improvement of medical image acquisitions technologies and the progress in computer technologies have had a great impact on CFR, and computerized CFR has become one of cutting-edge technologies in the interdisciplinary study of information science, physical anthropology and forensic science. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of existing manual CFR methods, computerized CFR methods and assessment methods by summarizing the research methods of related literatures. Finally, this paper reviews the progresses of CFR application in physical anthropology and gives some suggestions for further research.
Vocal signals are of great importance to non-human primates research as vocalizations play a significant role in animal communication. Studies on primate vocalizations can contribute to our understanding of social behavior, inter-individual relationships, the evolution of social behaviors, and even the origins of human language and communication. In this article, we reviewed the progress of research on the vocal communication of non-human primates, and then summarized the influencing factors and research methods found in this research. Additionally, we also discussed the future prospects of research into non-human primates vocal communication, with the goal of providing references for subsequent researchers and to further promote the research of primate vocalizations and acoustics in China.