Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (04): 599-615.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0056

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Biomechanical features of the prehistoric people’s bones from South China

LI Fajun1,2()   

  1. 1. Department of Anthropology, School of Sociology and Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
    2. Laboratory of Human Evolution and Archaeometry, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
  • Received:2020-07-30 Revised:2020-09-02 Online:2020-11-15 Published:2020-11-23


The paper aims to understand the diachronic changes of prehistoric human behavior in South China, and hope to understand the changes of prehistoric human cultural behavior patterns and lifestyles. The paper compared the biomechanical characteristics of limb bones of ancient human in Dingsishan site, Liyudun site, Chongtang site, Jiangbian site and Hecun site, and compared more groups in a broader space-time range and lifestyles. The results show that the activities of different archaeological groups in the area were similar during 8000-4000 BP. Although most of the prehistoric people in South China have significant differences in compressive, tensile and torsional strength, they all show high activities. These groups are most similar to the known hunting-gathering groups in many aspects of bone biomechanical characteristics, and are significantly different from the agricultural groups. Therefore, the paper argues that the behavior and activities of the prehistoric people in South China is closer to that of hunting-gathering groups.

Key words: Bone, Biomechanics, Human activity, South China, Prehistoric

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