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    A survey on physical characteristics of Uigur Nationality
    Ai Qionghua, Xiao Hui, Zhao Jianxin et al.
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1993, 12 (04): 357-365.  
    Abstract4161)      PDF (455KB)(90)       Save
    A survey on anthropomctry and somatoscopy of 529 adult Uigurs from 20 to 25 of age(271 males and 258 females) living in Yili of Xinjiang, the north--west in China,was carried out in May 1991.
    The results show that the Uigurs have their main characteristics as follows:
    The hair is straight in form and black in color in most cases. The eye is blown in color and the fold of upper palpebra is observable in most individuals.The Mongoloid fold is observable in 60.74% and 40.70% for males and females, respectively.
    The height of nose root is medium and high in most cases. The form of the nasal bridge is straight or concave. The height--breadth index of nose is 62.39 for males and 62.56 for females,the type of nose belongs to Leplorrhiny. The form of the carlobe is circular in 51.66%cases. There is Darwin's tubercle in most cases (71.21%).
    The length- -breadth index of head is 88.62 for males and 88.78 for females and the type of the head belongs to Hyperbrachycephaly. The breadth-height index of head is 65.03 for male sand 66.20 for females and belongs to T apeinoccphaly. The length--height index of head is 73.5Sand 74.69 for males and females, respectively, and the type of the head belongs to Hypsiccphaly. The average statures are 1684.6mm for males and 1 578.8mm for females.they belong to the Ultramedium and high types according to Martin's classification in both of males and females.
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    Comparison of head and facial features among Kazaks, Uigurs and Mongols of Xinjiang
    Ai Qionghua, Sai Fuding, Xu Yuhe; Abudu Aini
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1996, 15 (01): 50-57.  
    Abstract1183)      PDF (2551KB)(236)       Save
    A survey on somatoscopy of head and facial features was carried out in Kazak, Uigur and Mongol ethnic groups, living in Yili of Xinjiang, Northwest China and totally 1611 adults (551 Kazaks, 527 Uigurs and 533 Mongols) were investigated in 1991.
    The results had been compared among the three ethnic groups from each other. There are many similarities among Kazaks, Uigurs and Mongols. The common features in the three ethnic groups include the predominance of ovoid and ellipse facial forms, brown eyes, good fold of upper palpebra, ovoid and ellipse auricular forms, circular and quadrangular forms of earlops and straight and black hairs.
    Kazaks are more similar to Mongols than to Uigurs.
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    Somatotype characteristics of the She people in Fujian
    HU Rong
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 824-833.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0027
    Abstract952)   HTML1812)    PDF (10839KB)(954)       Save

    According to historical records, She people had lived at the junction of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi before Tang Dynasty. Today She people are mainly distributed in seven provinces, including Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Anhui, Hunan and Guizhou. However, there has been a great controversy about the origin and migration of She people. In this study, we randomly selected 504 She nationality adults (285 males and 219 females) aged above18 years old from Fu’an city and Fuding city of Fujian Province, with measuring 10 Physical parameters including stature, weight, biepicondylar breadth of the humerus, biepicondylar breadth of the femur, circumference of tensed arm, circumference of claf, thickness of triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, supraspinale skinfold and middle calf skinfold. The Heath-Carter somatotype method was used to analyze the somatotype of She people in eastern Fujian. The average somatotype of She males (5.02-3.76-1.76) was endodermic, while the average somatotype of females (6.91-3.50-1.23) was endodermic. Compared with other southern ethnic minorities in China, the results show that somatotype of She people is closer to Han groups, especially the Han people from southern and eastern Fujian, and Han people from Guangxi, but more different from southern ethnic minority, which suggested that formation process of She nationality is closely related to Han nationality. This study provides the biological clue for origin of She, and also provides the necessary data and materials for the anthropological research in China.

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    The physical characters of Zang (Tibetan) Nationality
    Zhang Zhenbiao
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1985, 4 (03): 250-258.  
    Abstract949)      PDF (610KB)(99)       Save
    A somatological survey on 105 males and 40 females of Zang nationality living in Xizang was carried out by the author in July, 1980.
    Judging from all nonmetrie data from more than 100 males and females, the features of Zang nationality are obviously similar to those of Mongoloid. In addition, all the means of measurements in Zang nationality fall within the range of the variations of those of other minorities living in China, and also fall within the range of Han nationality except the least frontal breadth (see table 6) . It is probable that Zang nationality belongs to the physical type of modern Chinese.
    In view of the cluster graph of kinship matrix for 11 groups of other minorities, Dy values and Cq2 values, the physicel characters of Zang nationality are basically similar to those of the minorities and Han nationality living in the priovinces of northwest and north China.
    The author believes that Zang nationality originally evolved from the ancient inhabitants during Neolithic period in Xizang region and later gradually formed the modern appearance by mixing with the ancient inhabitants migrated from the north and northwest region of China.
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    Somatotype characteristics of the Mongolian in China
    LI Yonglan, ZHENG Lianbin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2020, 39 (03): 450-460.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0029
    Abstract827)   HTML190)    PDF (16048KB)(110)       Save

    The Heath-Carter somatotyping method is used to study somatotypes of 4810 adults (2117 males and 2693 females) of 14 different Mongolian groups. Endomorphic and mesomorphic body shape of Mongolians are significantly positively correlated with age. In contrast, ectomorphic body shape is significantly negatively correlated with age; that is, with an increase of age, the body’s degree of linearity becomes smaller, and thus the somatotype tends to be round and thick. Male and female somatotypes of Mongolians in Chinaare all concentrated on the body shape of endo-mesomorph,balanced endo-mesomorph, meso-endoderm. With the increase of age, the occurrence of the three somatotypes is a significant positive correlation with age. Compared with the Han, Mongolians are more thick and strong. Our results of the principal components analysis show that the body’s degree of linearity is small, body fat is well developed and bone and muscle mass are less in Mongolians of the three northeastern provinces. On the standard somatotype chart, the point distribution of northern Mongolians is dense and shows that Mongolians in the north are closer in body shape to each other, and that Yunnan Mongolians in the south are very different because of small endomorphic and large ectomorphic traits. In Chinese ethnic groups that have been studied using the Heath-Carter somatotype, the Mongolian has the most developed body fat and the smallest body linearity degree.

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    Uygur ethnic composition and evolution based on incidences of typical Mongoloid physical characteristics
    WANG Bin, YANG Shengmin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2017, 36 (02): 227-235.  
    Abstract781)      PDF (552KB)(87)       Save
    By exploring the origin, composition, physical characteristics and evolution of the Uygur nationality we can better reveal historical and cultural changes of this ethnic group, which will benefit the protection and development of this nation. Archaeological anthropology, especially results of molecular archaeology, show that the ancient Xinjiang residents are not from a single ethnic origin but instead include European and Mongolian components. Polymorphisms in physical characteristics and genetic traits of modern Xinjiang residents, especially the difference in Uygurs of different regions is undoubtedly closely related to the ancient complex racial background of this group. Modern Uygur mostly have physical characteristics of Mongolian ethnicity, which shows that the modern Uygur ethnic origin is mainly from Mongolia. Different incidences of Mongolian physical characteristics throughout the Uygur living in different regions of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region including gradient changes trending from east to west embody indicate how the infiltration and fusion of Mongolian traits developed in the Uygur.
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    Canine fossa and evolution of the human mid-facial bones
    Francesc RIBOT Trafí, Mario GARCÍA Bartual, Alfredo José ALTAMIRANO Enciso, Qian WANG
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 193-217.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2020.0016
    Abstract701)   HTML85)    PDF (83724KB)(515)       Save

    The canine fossa is an important feature in the facial skeleton of many hominins, including modern humans. However, its phylogenetic significance is debated. Some researchers consider it as a plesiomorphic characteristic in a generalized face that, with some exceptions, is found in both extinct and extant great apes and in the hominins. Others consider that the canine fossa is a derived characteristic only found in Homo sapiens and its direct ancestors, and that it is related to an arched zygomatic-alveolar crest (ZAC). However, this relationship is not always fulfilled, and in Homo sapiens, there is a notable variability: An arched ZAC with the presence or absence of a canine fossa, and straight oblique ZAC with presence or absence of a canine fossa. In this sense, we hypothesize that the canine fossa is related to the degree of anterior extension of the maxillary sinus and that the morphology of the ZAC is related to the degree of lateral extension of said sinus. During the hominine evolution, the canine fossa has undergone different transformations, such as the maxillary furrow (Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus), maxillary fossula (P. robustus), and the sulcus maxillaris (Homo ergaster), or has been obliterated (Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Kenyanthropus platyops, Homo rudolfensis). In the taxa where it has been obliterated, the mechanism of obliteration is different in the hominins of the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene compared to those of the Middle Pleistocene (Homo heidelbergensis/rhodesiensis, Homo nenaderthalensis). The facial morphology of H. rhodesiensis would exclude it from the line evolving to H. sapiens.

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    Studies on blood group of minority nationalities living in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region -The distribution of ABO-blood group in nine nationalities
    Wang Guangjie, Wang Gang, Shang Jinqing et al.
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1994, 13 (02): 165-170.  
    Abstract694)      PDF (445KB)(22)       Save
    The distribution of ABO blood group from nine nationalities was reported. They may be divided into three groups: 1.B>O>A>AB. Han and Hui nationalities belong to this group. 2.0>B>A>AB. It was found in Mongolian, Ewenke. Elunchun, Korean, Russian and Man nationalities. 3.B>A>O>AB. Only Daur nationlity has this characteristic.
    The genetic frequency r(0) is higher in Ewenke (0.7549), lower in Daur (0.5234) and Hui (0.5171) nationalities, p(A) is lower in Ewenke (0.1138), higher in Korean (0.2277) and Daur (0.2253), q(B) is higher in Hui (0.2818), lower in Ewenke (0.1313) and Korean (0.1753).
    Comparing with the same nationality living in other parts of China, obvious difference was found only in the same nationality of Elunchun or of Ewenke.
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    Ancient DNA capture techniques and genetic study progress of early southern China populations
    WANG Tianyi, ZHAO Dongyue, ZHANG Ming, QIAO Shiyu, YANG Fan, WAN Yang, YANG Ruowei, CAO Peng, LIU Feng, FU Qiaomei
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2020, 39 (04): 680-694.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0059
    Abstract692)   HTML932)    PDF (2604KB)(406)       Save

    Substantial development of the ancient DNA capture techniques allows for obtaining DNA from a wide range of materials, including bone and environmental sediments. Moreover, effective endogenous DNA fragments are also obtainable from low-latitude regions with poor preservation conditions, greatly enriching the material sources for ancient DNA research. This paper summarizes and discusses this new technology in two main aspects: 1) it summarizes and presents the potential application of this technology; and 2) it reviews the knowledge gained from the application of this new technology to the study of ancient genomes. Specifically, this paper focuses on the study of ancient genomes from southern China and covers three points. First, we reveal the new insights gained from the study of ancient genomes. Second, we provide an in-depth analysis of the differences among ancient genomes of early populations in southern China. Third, we discuss the use of ancient DNA capture technology in successfully obtaining high quality mitochondrial genomic information from four individuals (3446-3180 cal BP) of Dayin Cave site in Yunnan Province.

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    Physical characters of Zhuang nationality in Guangxi
    Zhang Zhenbiao, Zhang Jianjun
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1983, 2 (03): 260-271.  
    Abstract687)      PDF (649KB)(65)       Save
    A somatological survey on 245 males and 61 females of Zhuang nationality living in Guangxi was carried out by the authors in January, 1980.
    The results of the studies are summarized as follows:
    The physical characters of Zhuang nationality
    The hair is straight in form and black in color in most cases. The form of the head belongs to short-wide type and cephalic index mostly belongs to Brachycephaly.
    Brown eye color is commonly represented in both sexes. There are not Mongolian folds in most cases. Double eye-lids are observed in high percentage. The palpebral opening is o£ the wide type and its direction is of horizontal type.
    The profile view of the nasal bridge is mainly of wavy type. The nasal index belongs to Mesorrhiny. The facial form in most cases is of ovoid type. According to the component classification of the morphological facial height and facial breadth, most of them belong to low-wide type. The morphological facial index belongs to Euryprosopy.
    The relationship between Zhuang and other nationalities
    In comparison with other minority nationalities in "Rm" value, Zhuang nationality is closer to Li, Buyi and Yi nationalities. As to the relationship with Han nationality living in different provinces, Zhuang nationality is by "Rm" value, closer to Han nationality living in Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian and Hunan provinces. Zhuang nationality is basically similar to the other inhabitances living in South China in physical1 characters.
    Zhuang nationality is different 任om Han living in Guangxi mainly in the fact that they have lower morphological facial height, lower height of nose and that of head.
    According to these analyses we consider that Zhuang nationality belongs to South China pattern in physical characters, like other inhabitances living in South China, and may originate from a common ancestor.
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    Stature characteristics of the Chinese Mongolians
    DALAI Wuyun, ZHENG Lianbin, LI Yonglan
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 282-294.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0015
    Abstract655)   HTML32)    PDF (6668KB)(106)       Save

    The paper is to study the stature of Mongolians in China. The adults stature of 4410 Chinese Mongolians (43% man; 57% women) was measured so as to analyze the stature classification and the variation trend of stature between different age groups and ethnic groups. The stature of Mongolian men is hyper-middle stature, while that of women is middle stature. Among 13 Mongolian ethnic groups, the stature of men in Ejina Torgouts are the tallest but the shortest ones in Yunnan while the stature of women in Ordos are the tallest but the shortest ones in Yunnan. The tall stature of men and women are with the highest occurrence rate, while with the lower occurrence rate of shorter and taller stature. The stature of Chinese Mongolians is close to the stature of other Chinese northern ethnic groups, higher than that of Chinese 7 southern ethnic groups, lower than that of Han nationality in the north, higher than that of Han nationality in the south, and lower than Japanese and Koreans. The stature difference among 13 ethnic groups is statistically important. Mongolians have higher stature than other ethnic groups in China.

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    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1985, 4 (04): 397-398.  
    Abstract648)      PDF (199KB)(24)       Save
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    Stone materials discovered newly in the Upper Paleolithic sites of Gannan county, Heilongjiang Province
    GUAN Ying, LI Youqian, XING Song, HUANG Liping, CHENG Li, ZHOU Zhenyu
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 281-291.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2018.0052
    Abstract632)   HTML68)    PDF (4002KB)(159)       Save

    The Paleolithic archaeological field work and systematical excavations in Heilongjiang Province started in the 1930s. Thus far, more than 100 sites or localities have been reported or published in different areas of Heilongjiang Province, mainly for the Upper Paleolithic. A new field survey was conducted in Gannan County in 2017 jointly by the Institute of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, and the Heilongjiang Provincial Archaeology and Cultural Relics Institute. Upper Paleolithic deposits were found in a vast area around Taipinghu Reservoir, along with fine chert resources. One semi-subterranean dwelling was found at the Guanghetun Locality 1. These discoveries indicate large scale human occupations during the Upper Paleolithic period, associated with mature blade and microblade technologies. Two charcoal samples were excavated from the uppermost part of weathered crust of strata at the Guanghetun Locality 1. Radiocarbon dating results suggest that all of the archaeological remains found in our survey are younger than 30000 years. From the surface-collected and excavated specimens in the study area, a typical Upper Paleolithic lithic industry is identified. Chert is utilized as the main material used for the lithic technology of the ancient occupants, followed by siliceous limestone and some other rock types. The shapes of both microblade cores and blade cores are varied, including wedge-shaped, boat-shaped, and conical-shaped cores, etc; modified tools include end scraper, scrapers, unifacial points, bifacial points, modified microblades, etc. Heavy duty tools are not evident in this site or in the surrounding area.

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    Digital hair distribution of the Hui and Han nationalities in Ningxia
    HUO Zheng-hao; JIAO Hai-yan; PENG Liang; CHEN Yin-tao; XU Fang
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2003, 22 (01): 57-61.  
    Abstract629)      PDF (159KB)(30)       Save
    This paper investigated a random sample of 316 Hui nationality (166 males, 150 females) and 542 Han nationality (253 males, 289 females) in Ningxia, aged from 17 to 23. The results showed that hair existed on the proximal phalangeal segments in all people except two females in Hui nationali- ty. The frequency of middle phalangeal segments' hair (MPSH) has no significant difference between males and females in the same nationality, and between Hui and Han nationality (P >0.05). The fre- quency in order of MPSH was found 4 >3 >5 >2. Hair distribution on both hand in same individual was fundamentally symmetrical. The gene frequency of existence of the MPSH in 13 populations was compared and analysed.
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    A study of the physical characteristics of the Russ nationality
    LU Shunhua, ZHENG Lianbin, SUO LiYa, ZHAO Zhou
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2005, 24 (04): 291-300.  
    Abstract623)      PDF (405KB)(61)       Save
    The physical characteristics of 336 adults (186 males, 150 females) of Russ nationality living in Inner Mongolia were based on 9 somatoscopic measurements, 58 anthropometric measurements, and 38 physical indices and index types. Comparisons were also made between the Russ inhabitants and other nationalities in China. The Russ nationality type has the following characteristics.
    Most men have an upper eyelid eye fold, which is observable in 3615 % and 3410 % for males and females respectively. The cephalic index falls into the following categories: hyperbrachycephaly, hypsicephaly and tapeinocephaly. The morphological facial index is hypereuryrosopy. Nasal root height is high and the alae nasi is medium size. The nasal index is leptorrhiny. Ear lobe type is frequently rounded. Black hair color and pale yellow skin color is common, and there is significant sexual difference in eye color. Common physical features of the body include: mesolength shape of the trunk , mesatiskelic type with a dumpy somatotype, a broad chest circumference , broad breadth of the shoulder and broad breadth of crista iliaca. Arm span is long. The physical characteristics of the Russ nationality is most closely related to the Uzbek nationality and the strong physique is closely related to Russians of north pole region of Russia.
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    The Out of East Asia theory of modern human origins supported by recent ancient mtDNA findings
    ZHANG Ye, HUANG Shi
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2019, 38 (04): 491-498.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0068
    Abstract623)   HTML71)    PDF (1138KB)(233)       Save

    It was in 1983 that scientists constructed the first molecular model of modern human origin based on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogenetic tree, and concluded that modern people originated in Asia. However, in 1987, the Out of Africa model also known as African Eve model was proposed and replaced the original model. But the infinite site assumption and the molecular clock hypothesis on which the African Eve model was based have been widely considered to be unrealistic. In recent years, we have proposed a new molecular evolution theory, namely the maximum genetic diversity(MGD) theory, and used it to reconstruct a new model of human origin, which is basically consistent with the Multiregional model and has the root of modern humans in East Asia. The main difference between the African Eve and our Asia model in the mtDNA tree is the relationship between haplotypes N and R. The African Eve model says that N is the ancestor of R, and our model indicates it is the opposite. In this research, we studied those mtDNA data published from ancient samples, focusing on the relationship between mitochondrial haplogroup N and R. The results show that the three oldest humans (one from 45,000 years ago and the other two about 40,000 years) belong to the haplogroup R. In the human samples from 39,500 to 30,000 years ago, most of them belong to the sub-haplogroup U downstream of the haplogroup R, and only two of them fall into the haplogroup N group(Oase1 is 39,500 years ago, Salkhit is 34,426 years ago). The haplotypes of these two individuals are not part of any prensent N downstream haplotypes and so may be close to the roots of the haplogroup N. These ancient DNA data reveal that the haplogroup R is about 5,000 years older than the haplogroup N, thus confirming the East Asia model and invalidating the African Eve model.

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    Differences between the hand-wrist and the knee in assigned skeletal ages
    Xi Huanjiu, Alex F. Roche
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1990, 9 (01): 20-26.  
    Abstract620)      PDF (409KB)(36)       Save
    Skeletal ages were assessed for 4902 pairs of hand--wrist and knee radiographs of children aged 2 to 17 years. The FELS method was used to assess the hand-wrist and the RWT method was used to assess the knee. The mean absolute differences, within ageand sex-specific groups, ranged from 0.34 to 0.87 years. The SD of the differences ranged from 0.31 to 0.68 years and, like the means, tended to increase with age until about 8-l1 years. The means and SD were generally larger for the boys than for the girls except after 14 years. Within age-and sex-specific groups, the maximum differences were from 1.45 to 2.99 years. These maximum differences changed irregularly with age but tended to increase until 11 years in the boys and 9 years in the girls. These large absolute differences between the skeletal ages of the hand -wrist and the knee cannot be explained completely by the effects of observer errors. These skeletal ages are not interchangeable; in at least 5% of children, the choice of the area for skeletal age assessment will markly influence the evaluation of individuals, the prediction of adult stature and the selection of ages for epiphyseadeses.
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    The morphological evidence for the regional continuity and diversity of Middle Pleistocene human evolution in China
    LIU Wu, WU Xiujie, XING Song
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2019, 38 (04): 473-490.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0048
    Abstract616)   HTML70)    PDF (3770KB)(270)       Save

    For decades, the Middle Pleistocene human fossils found in China have been attributed into Homo erectus and archaic Homo sapiens; respectively. This classification was mainly based on morphology and chronology of these fossils. Some cranial, mandibular and dental features identified and described on the human fossils of Zhoukoudian locality 1 by Weidenreich have been used as the standard for Homo erectus. According to the chronology of the Chinese Middle Pleistocene human fossils, later period of Middle Pleistocene around 300 ka are usually regarded as approximate border between Homo erectus and archaic Homo sapiens. For the past two decades, more Middle Pleistocene human fossils have been found in Africa, Europe and East Asia. Currently, the understanding for the fossil morphology and evolution of Middle Pleistocene humans has changed a lot. Recent studies of human fossils from Dali, Xujiayao, Panxian Dadong, Xuchang, Hualongdong indicate that in the past 300 ka, the human evolution in East Asia exhibited complicated diversities. Classifying all the hominins of this time period into archaic Homo sapiens cannot accurately reflect the human evolution patterns in East Asian continent. In the present study, with considering the research progress of Middle Pleistocene human evolution in China, the expressions of some morphological features with evolutionary and taxonomic values were analyzed for the Middle Pleistocene human fossils. Based on these analysis, the evolution pattern of Middle Pleistocene humans in China were tentatively explored. Our study indicates that the human fossils of early period of Middle Pleistocene in China including Zhoukoudian, Hexian, Yiyuan, Nanjing exhibit more features characterizing the region pattern and the expression of these feature are relatively stable. In contrast, the morphology expressions of human fossils from later period of Middle Pleistocene like Dali, Jinniushan, Maba, Panxian Dadong, Xujiayao, Xuchang, Hualongdong are more complicated with wide variation ranges. Besides, a number of evidence showing the living activity, healthy status and adaptation to environment have been found in the human fossils of this period. With these findings, the authors propose that the human evolution of early period of Middle Pleistocene in China mainly follows the pattern of morphological continuity. Entering the later part of Middle Pleistocene, the regional pattern of human evolution in China decreased with diversity taking the main place. A series of new human fossil findings and research progresses indicate that several hominins may co-exist in Middle Pleistocene’s East Asia. With available evidence of human fossil morphology and chronology, approximately 300 ka is the key time point for the evolution changes in Middle Pleistocene in China.

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    An experimental study on Paleolithic spheroids of China
    LU Liqun, DONG Bing, CHEN Shengqian
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (04): 587-599.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0008
    Abstract613)   HTML30)    PDF (16196KB)(145)       Save

    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.

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    Progress and prospects on osteological study of ancient human remains in China
    HE Jianing
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 165-180.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0016
    Abstract594)   HTML120)    PDF (798KB)(424)       Save

    The osteological study of ancient human remains is an important part of physical anthropology, which has a history of more than one hundred years in China. Significant advances have been made in the last decade. In this paper, the progress of osteological study of Holocene human remains in China is reviewed.
    In the last ten years, the fields of research have expanded significantly, including population evolution history, paleopathology, skeletal abnormalities related to cultural customs, functional adaptation of long bones, paleodemography, body shape and size, climate adaptation, etc., and have accumulated many important physical data of ancient populations. The breadth and depth of the research have completely surpassed the situation that focused on ethnographic analysis in the last century.
    In addition to traditional methods based on metric and non-metric traits of skull and teeth, evolutionary quantitative genetic method has been introduced into regional population history study. There are also microevolutionary analysis of craniofacial morphologies on large spatial and temporal scale. Geometric morphometrics has proved to be of great value in the study of population history. In the study of paleopathology, there are some regional comparative researches focus on stress conditions, dental diseases, trauma, etc. Particular attention has been paid to the impact of social, cultural, and subsistence background on the pattern of disease. Biomechanics and geometric morphometrics have been used to analyze the long bone function, which provides important information for the reconstruction of activity patterns of past humans. New methods such as digital photography, micro-CT and 3D laser scanning, geometric morphology and morphometric maps have played an important role in supporting these progresses.
    Most studies highlight the significant advantages of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, which is also essential for the future study. However, there are still some fields to be explored in China, such as the osteological study of children, female and physical adaptation to the environment. Basic research of osteology also needs to be strengthened.

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