Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (03): 470-480.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0060

• Excavation/Investigation Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Newly discovered lithic artifacts from the Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge in the middle reaches of Yellow River, Longmen-Hukou of Shaanxi Province

ZHANG Gaike1(), GUO Xiaoning1, YI Shuangwen2, ZHANG Hongyan2, ZHAO Hanqing1, WANG Shejiang3,4()   

  1. 1. Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Xi’an 710054
    2. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023
    3. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    4. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
  • Received:2020-09-24 Revised:2021-04-23 Online:2022-06-15 Published:2022-06-16
  • Contact: WANG Shejiang;


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.

Key words: Yellow River, Loess, Lithic artifacts, Late Pleistocene, LithicTechnology

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