Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (03): 427-435.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0081

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ESR chronology of the Sankeshu Paleolithic site in the Nihewan Basin, North China

JI Hao1,2(), LIU Chunru1(), SONG Weijuan1, WEI Chuanyi1, AO Hong3, LI Jianping1, YIN Gongming1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029
    2. School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083
    3. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061
  • Received:2020-11-06 Revised:2020-12-22 Online:2021-06-15 Published:2021-06-24
  • Contact: LIU Chunru;


The Nihewan Basin has attracted much attention owing to its well-developed late Mesozoic lacustrine strata and abundant Paleolithic sites and mammalian fossils. More than 100 Paleolithic sites have been found in the basin, which is known in academic circles as the “Olduvai canyon of the East”. Suitable dating materials are lacking; therefore, few independent ages are associated with Middle Pleistocene sites. Sankeshu Paleolithic site is one such example. This situation leaves the study of Paleolithic sites without a sound chronological framework. Electron spin resonance (ESR) dating technology is a dating technology developed in 1960s and has been widely recognized in geological circles. The ESR dating method has obvious advantages for the dating of the Middle Pleistocene sites, especially for the 400-780 kaBP which can not be dated by the Luminescence method. In this paper, we use quartz Ti-Li center ESR method to date four sediment samples at different depths of the Sankeshu site. The age of Sankeshu site is 599±70 kaBP, which provides a necessary chronological basis for understanding the survival and evolution of ancient humans in the Nihewan Basin.

Key words: Nihewan Basin, Sankeshu site, Middle Pleistocene, Paleolithic, ESR, Quartz

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