Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (04): 531-539.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0025

• Excavation/Investigation Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

New discoveries from the Nansi Canyon Paleolithic site, Inner Mongolia

PENG Fei1(), TIE Weidong1, QIN Bin1, WANG Huiming2, GAO Xing3,4   

  1. 1. Department of Archaeology and Museology, School of Ethnology and Sociology, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
    2. Ningxia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Yinchuan 750001
    3. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2022-11-18 Revised:2023-03-14 Online:2023-08-15 Published:2023-08-10


Initial Upper Paleolithic (IUP) was first adopted to describe a transitional technological assemblage with both Middle and Upper Paleolithic characteristics. Now, the term has become an important concept in discussing modern human origins and dispersal in Eurasia. Questions about its chronology, technological variation, and population groups have been hotly debated. The Shuidonggou site complex is one of the essential IUP sites in North China, with few contemporary sites discovered and studied in adjacent areas. Here we provide a report on a new investigation in Alashan. In 2013, a survey of the Paleolithic site in the Nansi Canyon of Alashan, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, collected 33 lithic artifacts. Raw materials were quartzite, and the degree of weathering and abrasion low. Preliminary research shows that the rough production method of ancient stone technology is hammering with lithics identified as cores, flakes and chunks. Tool blanks are all flakes assessed as scrapers according to processing type. In terms of cultural appearance, the site is similar to sites 1 and 9 at Shuidonggou. Its age may be at the beginning of the Initial Upper Palaeolithic, about 40 kaBP. This discovery has crucial significance for further discussing technological diversity of Initial Upper Paleolithic and migration paths of early modern humans in Northeast Asia.

Key words: Alashan, Nansi Canyon, Lithic artifacts, Blade

CLC Number: