Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (03): 381-393.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0019

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

A preliminary report on the Fanba paleolithic site at Yangxian County, Hanzhong Basin, central China

XIA Wenting1,2,3(), WANG Shejiang1,2(), WANG Xianyan4, LU Huayu4, XIA Nan5, ZHANG Gaike5, BIE Jingjing1,2,3, YANG Xun4, WU Jiang4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    2. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    4. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023
    5. Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Xi’an 710054
  • Received:2020-12-01 Revised:2021-04-13 Online:2022-06-15 Published:2022-06-16
  • Contact: WANG Shejiang;


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.

Key words: Lithic artifacts, Middle-Late Pleistocene, Fanba site, Hanzhong Basin

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