Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (05): 917-928.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0039

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The discovery and study of the Paleolithic remains and sites in the source of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, Henan province

REN Wenxun1,2(), LI Jingya1,2, SONG Guoding2()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Revolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academic of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    2. Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2020-04-19 Revised:2020-07-23 Online:2021-10-15 Published:2020-09-29
  • Contact: SONG Guoding;


Danjiangkou Reservoir, located in the neighboring region of Henan, Shaanxi and Hubei, is the headwater of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP), which is an important ecological corridor for human migration and cultural exchanges between the northern and southern of China. In order to corporate with the construction of SNWDP, some archaeological institutes had conducted systematic investigations around the flooded area of Danjiangkou Reservoir since the 1990s, and more than 30 Paleolithic remains and fossil sites have been found merely in Xichuan County, Henan Province. Since 2009, both the IVPP and UCAS have conducted rescue excavations on more than 20 paleolithic sites. The excavation area exceeds 10000 m2 and more than 20000 stone artifacts have been discovered. This paper aims to demonstrate several achievements of the Paleolithic researches in the Danjiangkou Reservoir, Henan Province. Firstly, the extensive and continuous human activities indicate that this region is a concentrated area of early human activities. Secondly, the stoneware possesses the characteristics of both the south gravel-stone assemblage and the north flake-stone assemblage, giving rise to the fact that the exchange of lithic process technology did exist between the northern and the southern of China. Thirdly, some residue analyses, carried out on the surface of lithic tools, provide clues for understanding the environment around these remains and sites, as well as the utilization of ancestral plants. Fourthly, the remains and sites were scientifically determined from 500 kaBP to 10 kaBP, which is roughly equivalent to the time from late stage of early Paleolithic Period to the late Paleolithic Period, which was the most important period of Paleolithic Archaeology. Fifthly, some remains, such as pottery fragments, burnt earth, flint blade, were found in a few sites. They provide important information for resolving the origin and development of the blade technology as well as the transition from Paleolithic Period to the Neolithic Period.

Key words: Danjiangkou Reservoir, Paleolithic, Excavation, Discovery

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