Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (02): 177-190.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0011

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A restudy of stone artifacts from the Fulin site in Hanyuan, Sichuan

HUAN Faxiang1,2(), YANG Shixia1(), CHEN Wei3, CHEN Weiju2, ZHU Lidong4, ZHANG Yuxiu5   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    2. Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
    3. Sichuan Province Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, Chengdu 610041
    4. Institute of Sedimentary Geology, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059
    5. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2021-06-29 Revised:2021-12-01 Online:2023-04-15 Published:2023-04-03


Microliths recovered from the Fulin site in western Sichuan Province have attracted much attention since their discovery in the last century, and is of particular value as an exception to the large cobble tool traditions of South China. This paper re-examines 1940 lithics from the 1972 excavation. Based on raw material selection, knapping techniques, striking platform types and quantities of both cores and flakes, we establish reduction strategies models. Hard hammer percussion is the main technique, with some bipolar percussion. The production of the bladelet-like pieces was highlighted in preliminary reports of the Fulin assemblage. In the current study, we confirm that the production of bladelet-like pieces is an important part of the industry; pieces mainly produced by controlled hard hammer with clear percussion marks different from real microblade reduction. In another words, the bladelet-like pieces are elongated small flakes but have features similar to microblades such as parallel edges and slender forms. Except for the bladelet-like products, small flakes account for a large proportion of this assemblage. There are simple unidirectional, bidirectional, multidirectional and Kombewa-type cores. In terms of tool retouching, the unretouched edge of the flake is more common. Small flakes and bladelet-like pieces provided efficient cutting edges. Scrapers, notches, bores and tanged tools are identified as retouched tools. The identification of tanged tools indicate the existence of composite tools. According to the stratigraphic reports of the 1970s, and recent excavation and dating results, the age of the site is 10.97±0.71 kaBP. Microliths are related to ecological and climatic adaptations, raw material conditions, and demographic expansion during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. During the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, lithic assemblages of South China and their techniques were far more diverse than previously thought. This study suggests a deeper understanding of the diversity of lithic industries in southern China is warranted.

Key words: South China, Fulin, stone artifacts, type, technology

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