Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (01): 106-117.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2018.0046

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Stratigraphy and chronology of the Gaolingpo site in the Bose Basin, South China

XIE Guangmao1,2, LIN Qiang1, YU Minghui1, CHEN Xiaoying1, HU Zhanghua3, LU Huayu4, HUANG Qiuyan5   

  1. 1.Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relic Protection and Archaeology, Nanning 530003
    2.College of History, Culture and Tourism, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541001
    3.Museum of Nanning City, Nanning 530219
    4.School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023
    5.Museum of Tiandong County, Tiandong 531599
  • Received:2017-09-07 Online:2020-02-15 Published:2020-07-17


The Palaeolithic industry in the Bose Basin, Guangxi, South China is well known in the international Paleolithic community for its handaxes dating back to 803 kaBP. Seven fluvial terraces were developed in the basin, but the fourth terrace is the most important archaeologically because handaxes and tektites were recovered from this terrace. Since the first site was discovered in 1973, additional sites of the Bose Palaeolithic industry have been investigated and excavated, most of which are located on the fourth terrace. Previous studies concluded that there is only one industrial phase within the depositional sequence of terrace four and its age is 803 kaBP. However, before 2013 no attempt had been made to excavate to the basal gravels from top of the fourth terrace, and therefore the depositional sequence was not completely investigated. Until now, the stratigraphy and the layers from which the stone artifacts derived in terrace four were not clear. In 2013-2014, we conducted an excavation over an area of 200m 2at the Gaolingpo site, which is one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in the Bose Basin. We excavated to the basal gravel deposits from the top of this terrace, and a section of more than 7m thick was exposed, with the stratigraphic layers of Pleistocene and Holocene deposits clearly presented. Furthermore, more than 800 stone artifacts including choppers, picks, and scrapers were recovered from several stratigraphic layers, which have different ages and characteristics. Based on stratigraphic analysis and the stone artifacts, three stages of Palaeolithic cultural remains from the Gaolingpo site are established. The first stage has an age of at least 803 kaBP, the second stage can be dated to 15 kaBP, and the third stage is 10 kaBP.

Key words: Bose Basin, South China, Stratigraphy, Chronology, Cultural sequence, Palaeolithic

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