Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (03): 349-356.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0042

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A preliminary report on the excavation of the Datubaozi Paleolithic site in the Danjiangkou Reservoir Region

LI Hao1,2(), LI Chaorong1, LEI Lei1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    2. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2019-03-14 Revised:2019-04-08 Online:2020-08-15 Published:2020-08-31


The Datubaozi site, located within the Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR) of the Hanshui River, contains a small lithic assemblage of 58 artifacts that comprises cores, flakes, chunks and retouched formal tools. These artifacts are produced on a range of raw materials, sourced from nearby river gravels, and quartz is most favored followed thereafter by small proportions of quartzite, phyllite and trachyte. Clear strategies are employed in both reduction of cores and production of formal tools. For the former, cores illustrate a mix of reduction strategies evidenced by an array of unidirectionally, multi-directionally and discoidally flaked pieces, and for the latter, formal tools show two distinct production techniques that give rise to a clear size differential based on raw material selection. The first technique is characterized by the production of large tools on phyllite, such as chopper and handaxe, whereas the second is characterized by the production of small tools on quartz, such as scraper and notch.

Comparative analysis, between the Datubaozi site and others located on the third terrace of the Hanshui River, shows that artifact densities overall are low for sites in this region, which may be indicative of high mobility patterns in human populations. Such a phenomenon has been observed at younger terrace two sites, and since this trend has now been documented across both terraces. This implies that there is continuity and stability in human behavior and that there is potentially a lack of technological innovation, through time. The preliminary age for the Datubaozi site can be assigned to the early-middle stages of the Middle Pleistocene.

Key words: Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR), Datubaozi site, Handaxe, Adaptive behavior, Middle Pleistocene

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