Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (03): 411-426.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0038

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Chronology of lithic artifact sites and hominin distribution from Early to Middle Pleistocene in China

LU Ying1(), SUN Xuefeng1(), WANG Shejiang2,3, LU Huayu1   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
    2. 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
    3. Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing, 100044
  • Received:2020-11-25 Revised:2021-01-29 Online:2021-06-15 Published:2021-06-24
  • Contact: SUN Xuefeng;


Hominin fossils and Paleolithic sites of Early and Middle Pleistocene in China can provide information to understand hominin behavioral and living environments, while a chronological framework is the basis for analyzing hominin evolution, migration, and relationship with climate change during the Pleistocene era. In the past 20 years, hominin records in China steadily increased because of the Paleolithic excavation and the advancement of dating techniques, providing amplified materials for establishing age frameworks. This study analyzed 95 Early to Middle Pleistocene sites with numerical age estimates. The distribution patterns are shown under the loess-paleosol chronology constraints and a relatively continuous chronology of hominin activities is established from approximately 2 MaBP to the last interglacial period. These sites are mainly distributed in four regions of the Nihewan Basin and the adjacent Zhoukoudian, Qingling Mountains Range, and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and South China, where the maximum intensity of hominin activities occurred in order during the Early Pleistocene, Middle Pleistocene, and in the late part of Middle Pleistocene, respectively. Various excavated sites still lack chronological study or encounter issues in dating. Therefore, improvement of chronological study is necessary.

Key words: Early and Middle Pleistocene, Paleolithic sites, Dating, Loess-paleosol, Regional hominin evolution

CLC Number: