Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (05): 701-708.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0022

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Thinking on authoring the excavation report of Paleolithic sites

LI Feng1,2(), JIANG Lijun3   

  1. 1. Center for the Study of Chinese Archaeology, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2. School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    3. CITIC Press Group, Beijing 100020
  • Received:2022-12-12 Revised:2023-03-15 Online:2023-10-15 Published:2023-10-16


Excavation reports are vital for the publication of original archaeological data. Comprehensive research on a site is often a time-consuming task, therefore timely publication of excavation reports becomes a priority to disseminate information about a site effectively. At present, there are relatively few reports on Paleolithic sites published as full monographs. And with increasing of diversity of researchers and their training, stylistic rules and contents of excavation reports on Paleolithic sites vary in terms of original information, which is not conducive to effective scholarly communication. This paper discusses a basic framework for preparing Paleolithic archaeological reports from the perspective of site and human behavioral research. This paper holds that the excavation report should publish basic information “from the surface to the inside” including at the minimum, geographical location; discovery, excavation and research history; geology; topographical land forms; excavation methods and procedures; site stratigraphy; age and paleoenvironment; excavated remains(including features and artifacts). Interpretation of human behavior should be added as a relatively independent part of the excavation report or should be published separately. An excavation report is foundation of archaeological research, but we are well aware that the report is not the ultimate goal in the science of archaeology. Researchers should expand the range and depth of their work and and focus on reporting original data. We hope that this paper promotes scholars to think more about the value of Paleolithic archaeological excavation report writing and its relationship to comprehensive research of a particular site and its environs, so as to achieve more timely and effective dissemination of Paleolithic information.

Key words: Archaeology, Paleolithic sites, Excavation report

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