The Fanba site is located on the second terrace of the Yishui river, a tributary on the left bank of the Hanjiang river in Yangxian county in the Hanzhong basin, southern piedmont of the Qinling mountains. A systematic excavation was carried out from February to June in 2016, and a total of 784 lithic artifacts were unearthed within an exposed area of 175 m2. Analysis of the lithic assemblage suggests that the stone artifacts are made on the local cobbles/pebbles, which were collected from the nearby alluvial deposits riverbank. Quartz was the most frequently used as raw materials, and quartzite, fine sandstone, igneous rock, and flint were occasionally used.
Direct hard hammer percussion was the dominant flaking technique and the bipolar technique is also identified on some artifacts. The lithic assemblage consists of hammerstones, cores, flakes, retouched tools, chunks, flaking debris and unmodified manuports. The retouched tools include small scrapers and heavy-duty tools, such as choppers, spheroids, and heavy-duty scrapers. Typological and technological features of the lithic assemblage show that the site has similarity with the contemporary Paleolithic open-air sites in the Hanzhong basin and the Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR) in the middle reach of the Hanjiang river. The TT-OSL results of the alluvial deposits suggest that the duration of human life in the site could be dated back to 180-25 kaBP. As the first site excavated systematically on the second terrace of the Hanjiang river and its tributaries, these findings of Fanba site lay the foundation for understanding the cultural diversity and behavioral adaptability of the early hominids in the Middle-Late Pleistocene in the transitional regions in central China.
This article focuses on the identification and further analysis of the faunal remains unearthed from the Muzhuzhuliang site at Shenmu city in Shaanxi Province in 2011. All these faunal remains were collected scientifically according to the archaeological units and were carefully classified, measured and identified. The results of sorting and analysis of these remains indicate that there are at least 26 species including Pelodiscus sp., Accipiter sp., Aquila sp., pheasants, owl, Myospalax fontanieri, Rattus norvegicus, rabbits, foxes, wolf, dogs, raccoon dog, tiger, yellow weasel, badger, Equus ovodovi, wild ass, wild pigs, domestic pigs, camels, red deers, roe deer, cattles, Gazella subgutturosa, goat and sheep. In particular, the discovery of Equus ovodovi, the latest extinct species of equidae. In particular, they found Equus, an extinct equine species that is late and southward in the present era. The analysis of these faunal remains indicates that the large-scale grasslands and some forest present around the site. They depended on animal husbandry for their livelihood, at the same time, farming and hunting were engaged.
Settlement archaeology research has shown that the earliest ancient Chinese state was formed during the Erlitou culture period (1735-1530 BC) in the Central Plain. The exploitation, management, and distribution of primary and secondary products from domestic animals during this key period are important issues in zooarchaeological research. Although some research has been conducted on materials from the central capital, middle settlements, and small settlements, there remains a gap in our understanding of animal exploitations in large settlements. In this paper, our research on the animal bone assemblage at the Wangjinglou site explores the consumption and exploitation of animal resources by commoners living in the city during the Erlitou period. Our analysis includes the taxonomic identification and statistical comparison of species frequency; calculations and comparisons of metric data for sheep, estimations of age at death of pigs and sheep; and evaluations of possible animal exploitation strategies for meat and secondary products such as wool. Domestic animals, such as pigs and cattle, were dominant species in the faunal assemblage, while wild animals, mainly deer, were small in number. Moreover, estimation of age at death indicates that pigs were raised for specialized meat consumption. However, most sheep survived beyond 3-4 years, illustrating that wool production was the main objective of sheep husbandry. Within the multi-tiered settlement hierarchy for the Erlitou state, we compare the species of domestic animals, percentages of sheep among domestic animals by NISP and MNI, distribution values (d) of sheep body sizes calculated using the Logarithmic Size Index (LSI) method, and specializations of sheep husbandry. From this, we infer that the capital, large settlements, and middle settlements had a greater variety of species than small settlements. In addition, at high level settlements, the relative percentage of sheep was greater and the body size was larger than at low level settlements. Moreover, procuring wool was more likely to be the main purpose of sheep husbandry in the capital and large settlements. This research on Wangjinglou reveals the characteristics of the animal economy in large settlements and describes the differentiation of domestic animal exploitation within the multi-tiered settlement hierarchy of the earliest Bronze Age state in ancient China.
The culture of Rong people embedded in ancient diverse Chinese history. However, little literature contexts and discoveries have been found to study their subsistence patterns. The archaeological excavations of the Rong people’s cemeteries in the Zhaitouhe and the Shijiahe in Huangling, Yan’an, Shaanxi Province, provided significant archaeological evidence for understanding the social life of the Rong people in Guanzhong region. This study is carried out by human bones unearthed from burials to discuss the diet pattern of the ancient residents which reveals the economic pattern. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic analyses indicates that the food habits of people from Shijiahe and Zhaitouhe are similar. The plant foods consist of C4 herbaceous plants which mainly comprised broomcorn and foxtail millet. Two samples of individuals were mainly fed on meat food, while the others consumed less meat resources. And there is no gender difference on diet pattern. The diet pattern of the Qin people was similar to those ancestors in the early and middle period in the Shijiahe cemetery. The present archaeological discoveries and cultural contexts show that ancestors of the Zhaitouhe and Shijiahe cemeteries formed an economic pattern of the mixture by agriculture and rearing livestock by assimilating the agricultural culture of Guanzhong region based on the local natural environment.
The Wanggou site is a high-level central settlement site in the late Yangshao culture in the middle of Henan Province. Between 2014 and 2016, we systematically collected phytolith soil samples, and found that foxtail millet, broomcorn millet, rice, and soybean make up the crop group of the settlement. The proportion of the millet is high, rice is low, and rice farming is smaller than that of dry farming. Rice and millet both are daily crops of Wanggou ancestors. Combining the analysis of phytoliths and carbonized plant remains, we speculate that the millet and rice of the Wanggou site are harvested in the different seasons by means of connecting rods with spikes, and then the grains are threshed in the southern part of the trench by collective activities. After threshing, millet and rice are stored together around the house and then distributed to individual families, which are shelled in or around the house when they need to eat. Large-scale grain harvesting and concentrated threshing processing activities in specific places show that the Wanggou settlement has strong labor organization ability, reflecting the existence of larger social production organizations, and large families or family communes become the basic unit of production and life.
There had always been difficulties and controversies in estimating adult human skeleton’s age. Via reviewing the development of the estimation methods, it revealed that these methods would inevitably lead to biased results because of the effect of “age mimicry”, although the methods which based on the traits such as pubic symphysis and auricular surface on the ilium had been developed for a long time and was regarded as reliable methods. Based on Bayesian method and maximum likelihood estimation, “transition analysis (TA)” created by Jesper Boldsen et al. could eliminate the harmful effect mentioned above. By ADBOU, the practice of TA on the skeleton sample of the pre-Qin period from Shanxi reveled the different age-at-death distributions produced by traditional morphological observational method and TA. The difference of the results of age estimation would affect paleodemographic research notably so it is necessary to adopt TA, and more efforts on improving the estimation of skeleton’s age should be made.
At present, there has not been a large sample report on the head, face, nose, lip and ear shapes in Chinese population. We completed a cephalo-facial measurement on 63,449 individuals from 115 ethnic groups and calculated seven cephalometric indexes, such as length-breadth index of head (LBIH) and so on. The relationship between the above-mentioned indexes and age as well as correlation among indexes, average year temperature and latitude were explored. The principal component analysis was utilized to study the index values of seven age groups. Our data presents that with an increased age, the head of Chinese people is becoming longer and lower accompanied by narrower face, wider nose wider, thinner lips and longer ears, which is also proved by the principal component analysis. The correlation analysis results show that with the increase of latitude,length-breadth index of head (LBIH), morphological facial index (MFI),derived from Chinese men and women increase, while height-breadth index of nose (HBIN) and physiognomic index of ear (PIE) decrease. With the increase of annual mean temperature,length-height index of head (LHIH),breadth-height index of head (BHIH), morphological facial index (MFI) tend to drop with an elevation of HBIN and PIE values in both female and male cases.Chinese male and female have a higher rate of brachycephaly and mesocephaly by LBIH. Both male and female are mainly hypsicephalic by LHIH, acrocephalic by BHIH and hyperleptoprosopy by MFI. More than half of people is mesorrhiny by HBIN, followed by leptorrhiny.
In order to explore the effect of cheerleading or aerobics training on the body composition and bone mineral density and muscle explosive force of middle school girls, 62 middle school girls in cheerleading training (cheerleading group), 58 middle school girls in aerobics training (aerobics group) and 80 middle school girls (control group) were recruited under strict control of the inclusion criteria of the subjects, their height, weight, body composition, bone mineral density and muscle explosive force were measured respectively to comparative studies. The results are as follows, compared with the control group, the protein percentage, muscle percentage and inorganic salt percentage of the cheerleading group and the aerobics group were significantly higher, while the fat percentage was significantly lower. Compared with the cheerleading group, the protein percentage and muscle percentage of the aerobics group were significantly higher, while the fat percentage was significantly lower. The hip bone density in cheerleading group and aerobics group was significantly higher than that in control group, the spinal bone density in aerobics group was significantly higher than that in control group, and the hip bone density in aerobics group was also significantly higher than that in cheerleading group. Compared with the control group, the lower limb muscle explosive force in the cheerleading group was significantly higher (P<0.05), and the upper limb muscle, lower limb muscle, waist abdomen muscle and lower back muscle explosive force in the aerobics group were also significantly higher. Compared with the cheerleading group, the upper limb muscle, lower limb muscle, waist abdomen muscle and lower back muscle explosive force in the aerobics group were also significantly higher. The results suggest that cheerleading or aerobics training can improve the body composition of middle school girls, increase their bone mineral density and ;muscle explosive force. The intervention effect of aerobics is better than that of cheerleading, which may be related to the technical characteristics and intensity of aerobics.
In 2019-2020, nine Paleolithic open-air sites were discovered in the Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Longmen-Hukou (Shaanxi Province), Northern China. A total of 136 lithic artifacts were collected. Some of the lithic artifacts were directly collected from the exposed stratigraphic sections. In Kangjialing site, most of the lithic artifacts are buried in the fluvial clastic accumulation layer at the bottom of Malan loess, which may be in the early Late Pleistocene. In Sujialing site, only one lithic artifact from the fluvial clastic layer under the weak paleosol layer of MIS3 stage, most of the lithic artifacts are buried in Malan loess. The OSL age of the fluvial clastic layer is 72±7 kaBP. The rest of the buried strata are Malan loess layer, which can be temporarily placed in the middle and late stage of Late Pleistocene, and the OSL data of the loess layer in Liangquangou site is more than 50ka. The raw materials for processing lithic artifacts are mainly gravel, and the lithology is mainly quartzite, followed by quartz, in addition to a small amount of flint, fine sandstone and siliceous rock. The lithic artifacts include cores, flakes, retouched tools, chunks, which are mainly small (<50 mm) in size. The platforms of core and flake are dominated by cortical surface. Most of the lithic artifacts were knapped by direct hammer percussion, a few stone artifacts were knapped by bi-polar technique. The retouched tools include light-duty scrapers, notch, and choppers. The lithic industry show typical characters of the simple core-flake technology. These newly discovered Paleolithic site has further expanded the spatial and temporal distribution of Paleolithic remains in Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge area of the Yellow River, which is conducive to the follow-up research work.
During August 2019, Paleolithic archaeological survey was carried out in the Lushi Basin in the middle of South Luohe River, central China, 27 new Paleolithic open-air sites were identified and 123 lithic artifacts were collected. These sites are distributed on the first to fourth terrace of the South Luohe River, in situ lithic artifacts that buried in loess deposits have been found in some sites.
Lithic artifacts include cores, flakes, chunks and retouched tools. They can be roughly grouped as simple core-flake lithic industry. Lithic raw materials are quartz, sandstone and quartzite pebbles which were locally collected from river deposits. The cores include single-platform and multiple-platform production without preparation. The retouched tools include heavy-duty tools such as picks and choppers, as well as light-duty scrapers made on flakes.
According to the analyses of the loess-paleosol sequences, it is preliminarily concluded that most of the cultural layers are located in L1-S2 loess and paleosol units, which are formed during the late Middle Pleistocene to the late Pleistocene. Two stone artifacts from Xizhuangcunnan (19LS35) and Jiuzhaishan (19LS27) were buried in the S9 and S13 loess deposits respectively, these findings provide important information in relation to the early hominin occupation the basin in the Eastern Qinling Mountains. The investigation expands the timing and space of Paleolithic artifacts distribution in the Lushi Basin, and provides a more comprehensive information for the protection and scientific research of Paleolithic sites in the region.
From April to June 2020, the Ningxia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology cooperated with the Haiyuan County Cultural Management Office to conduct a special archaeological survey of the prehistoric remains around the Nanhua mountain. A total of 14 Paleolithic sites with clear strata were found in this survey, which can be roughly divided into two different accumulative phases, the Malan loess about 18 kaBP and the floodplain deposits about 24~18 kaBP. Among them, ash heaps were found on the sections of the YouFangyuan 1st and LiuWan sites. The dating data show that the YouFangyuan 1st is about 22 kaBP cal, and the LiuWan sites is about 11 kaBP cal. The discovery of the Paleolithics in the survey provides new data for the study of the late Paleolithic culture in Northwest China, and provides new clues for further discussion of the environment, culture, and communication of human groups in the late Paleolithic in northern China during the LGM stage.
Diet plays an important role in the origin and evolution of human culture. As the main carrier of dietary information, teeth provide the possibility to reconstruct the dietary lineage of ancient human from different perspectives. As a direct reflection of human chewing behavior, dietary structure and living pattern, the physical anthropological analysis of oral diseases and microscopic traces on the surface of teeth is particularly important. The detection of trace elements and stable isotopes in teeth plays an immeasurable role in revealing the migration and flow of ancient human beings, the feeding behavior and nutritional status in different stages of life, and the origin and development of agriculture. In this paper, based on the review of the importance of human teeth unearthed from archaeological sites and the diversity of research methods, combined with the characteristics of tooth growth and development, we draw the human age map of the dentin growth sequence matched by different dentin positions. Based on this map, we proposed a new method of dentin continuous section sampling. This paper proposes that from the angle of physical anthropology and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen, using continuous sections of dentin, limb bones, ribs and other human tissues as related materials, on the basis of exploring the individual life history of ancient human beings, the research of “intergenerational archaeology” is prospected.
The discoidal core characterized by the bifacial centripetal flaking method has played an essential role in the Chinese Paleolithic. This research focused on the long-term coexistence of discoidal and amorphous cores in Flake Tool Industry discovered in Northern China, and highlighted the differences between flakes produced by these two different methods. As a result, this study shows that three indexes can be used to distinguish the two methods: platform type, dorsal scar direction, and the proportion of flakes retaining the edge of the core platform. This study also implies technological analysis on flake is important to understand the reductional strategy of the Flake Tool Industry in North China.
With the development of the research discipline, diversified research approaches to early human occupation reveal different occupation strategies adopted by early humans from the use of paleoanthropological sites. In recent years, as an important branch of exploring ancient human behavior, animal taphonomy plays an important role in explaining the formation processes of sites and even the influencing factors behind the site formation. This paper reviews the main approaches to taphonomic investigation of animal assemblages from paleoanthropological sites. In addition, this paper also introduces some typical models and classic research cases in order to analyze the defects and possible solutions in studying animal bone formation processes from sites. Furthermore, fundamental research methods of animal taphonomy, which are systematically reviewed by the authors, provide feasible research scopes of the taphonomic results from multiple phenomena obtained from archaeological site formation. Finally, combined with the related studies of some paleoanthropological sites in China, a discussion on the potential reference for research methods and approaches in Chinese animal taphonomy studies is also presented in the current paper.
This paper introduces several important theoretical and methodological issues involved with the strontium isotope archaeological research. The first is the variation pattern of strontium isotope ratios in the lithosphere and its influence on the study about human migration. Secondly, four restrictions of the strontium isotope method are addressed, the diagenetic contamination of bone and dentin samples, the overlapping effect of strontium isotope in different regions, the mixed effect of strontium isotope in teeth and bones, and the inability to identify migrant descendants. Finally, two major difficulties in the application of strontium isotope to the study of human migration are investigated. One is how to distinguish the migrant population in a site or cemetery, and the other is how to find the origin of the migrant population.
The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus Primigenius) and the woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) were the dominated members of the late Pleistocene fauna in the high latitude of northern Hemisphere. The age and causes of their extinction are still controversy. In this study, five woolly mammoth and 5 woolly rhinoceros fossils unearthed recently from Yingxiancun, Qinggang County, Heilongjiang Province were dated by AMS14C methods. The dating results were all over 40,000 years, and some fossils may have exceeded the current limit of radiocarbon dating. Based on comparing the published radiocarbon data of two animal fossils in China, we argued that the accuracy of the dating results obtained by the conventional 14C dating method should be reconsidered. The dating results of woolly mammoth fossils were mainly in MIS3, and the woolly rhinoceros survived in China until the last deglacial period. More chronology data of Mammuthus Primigenius and Coelodonta antiquitatis fossils were still needed for the research on the late Pleistocene megafauna extinction in China.