Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (06): 842-856.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0012

Special Issue: 英文专辑

• Reviews • Previous Articles    

Upper Paleolithic human dispersals and cultural diffusions in Eastern Eurasia

KATO Shinji()   

  1. Department of Planning and Coordination, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Nara of Japan 6308577
  • Received:2021-05-15 Accepted:2021-11-11 Online:2023-12-15 Published:2023-12-14
  • About author:KATO Shinji, PhD, Senior Researcher, Deputy Director General. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, MEXT Grant-in-Aid Project FY2016-2020, Number 16H06407;JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP20H01361


First, trends in the Upper Paleolithic (UP) industries on the eastern China, Korean Peninsula, and Japan Archipelago in Far Eastern Eurasia (FE Eurasia) are outlined. Next, developments in the UP industries in those regions are analyzed from the perspectives of relocation diffusion and expansion diffusion (contact diffusion). As a result, it is possible to gain an understanding of the following events. At the beginning of the UP (before 40 kaBP cal), southern human groups bearing a pebble and flake tool industry moved north and diffused in the southern part of eastern China. In the early stage of the UP (40-28 kaBP cal), regional groups formed, and they contacted each other. As a result, UP techno-cultural elements were diffused between those regional groups. In the late stage of the UP (after 28 kaBP cal), human groups with the microblade industries moved and spread widely in FE Eurasia, and as a result of contact between those groups, microblade industries widely diffused in this area. A glimpse of several entering of western or northern human groups (e.g., the human group with Initial Upper Paleolithic industry) into the FE Eurasia and its neighborhoods were able to catch, all of these, however, proved to be local and temporary ones. From the analysis on Paleolithic industries in this paper, it can be said that the movement of human groups with UP industries as generally consistent with the movements of East Asian ancestral populations that revealed by genomic analysis.

Key words: Far Eastern Eurasia, Upper Paleolithic, Relocation diffusion, Expansion diffusion, Basal East Eurasian

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