Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (04): 547-562.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0060

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Theoretical retrospection on the origin of microblade technology

CHEN Shengqian(), YE Canyang   

  1. Department of Archaeology and Museology, School of History, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872
  • Received:2019-05-09 Revised:2019-08-24 Online:2019-11-15 Published:2020-09-10


The origin of microblade technology(MT) is a hot issue in Paleolithic archaeology of China. Although there is a significant increase in discoveries and research about MT, the theoretical basis has not been fully explored yet. This work reexamined the fundamental concepts related to MT, clarified the assumptions about the studies on the origin of MT, and analyzed the innate problems in them. It suggests that the explanation from diffusionism cannot sufficiently answer the question the origin of MT. Meanwhile, the emergence of MT does not equate with the origins of technological factors that compose of MT, since these factors could have appeared in different periods and areas. Furthermore, we cannot separate the emergence of MT from the discussion of the general mechanism in the changes of lithic technologies. Finally, we should be aware of the unavoidable restrain from paradigm in which researchers situate themselves. In the future we should be clear on the limit of paradigm and the assumptions on which research is made, and expand the boundary of our exploration.

Key words: Microblade, Origin, Archaeological theory, Assumptions, lithic technology

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