Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (02): 370-380.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0082

• Literature Reviews • Previous Articles    

Investigating the mobility pattern of prehistoric hunter-gatherers based on the analysis of their lithic technology characteristics

ZHAO Chao()   

  1. School of History and Civilization, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119
  • Received:2020-08-10 Revised:2020-12-02 Online:2022-04-15 Published:2022-04-13


Mobility is the key strategy for hunter-gatherers to adapt their environments and extract resources. An investigation of the specific mobility patterns of hunter-gatherers can help us get comprehensive understanding of the issues like their cultural evolution, social transitions, and interaction with environment. Based on the perspectives of technological organization and the reference of the relevant case studies, this paper aims to reveal how to investigate specific patterns of mobility from the features of lithic remains. It indicates that while the design and production of lithic tools can well indicate the degrees of mobility, the lithic assemblages across different sites within settlement system can reflect the organizational structure of mobility. Specific attentions shall be paid to avoid the “equifinality problems” when we use lithics to infer mobility pattern, and the integration with other kind of evidence, such as dwelling structures, settlement pattern, and fauna and flora remains, is highly advocated to reconstruct mobility patterns of prehistoric hunter-gatherers.

Key words: Mobility, Hunter-gatherer, Lithics, Technological organization, Cultural adaption

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