Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (05): 667-678.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0039

• Excavation / Investigation Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Newly discovered Paleolithic artifacts from the southern Chengdu Plain

HONG Xiaoru1(), CHEN Wei2,3(), YU Guanyue4, LI Jiali5, YANG Yuchun6, LYU Hongliang1, XIANG Fang7, CHEN Huixin6   

  1. 1. School of Archaeology and Museology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064
    2. School of History and Culture, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062
    3. Sichuan Province Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Chengdu, 610041
    4. Nanjing Museum, Nanjing 210016
    5. School of History, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872
    6. Meishan Dongpo District Cultural Heritage Conservation Center, Meishan 620010
    7. Institute of Sedimentary Geology, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059
  • Received:2022-09-25 Revised:2023-02-08 Online:2023-10-15 Published:2023-10-16


From March to May 2021, the Sichuan Province Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and other institutions carried out an archaeological survey in a construction area of the southern Chengdu Plain where a new freeway from Tianfuxinqu via Meishan to Leshan is being built. A total of 12 Paleolithic localities were discovered, distributed in the 2nd to 4th terraces of the Minjiang River and the 2nd terrace of the ancient Qingyi River. One hundred lithics mostly from the surface were collected. Most of these artifacts are large and medium in size, and include cores(n=31), flakes(n=12), chunks(n=31) and retouched tools(n=26). More than ten raw materials were utilized for knapping, mainly collected as pebbles from nearby riverbeds or terraces. Quartz sandstone (36%) and quartzite (28%) were predominant. The flaking technique was direct hard hammer percussion without core preparation. Most of the flakes retained cortex on the butt and dorsal surface. Tools identified as choppers, handaxes, picks, cleavers, heavy-duty scrapers, scrapers and notch were mostly manufactured on flakes. Overall, the artifacts were similar to the main industry in South China, but with distinct regional characteristics and showing some similarities to the Acheulean Industry. According to stratigraphic comparisons and technical features of these lithics, the age of these newly discovered localities is around the late stage of Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene.

Key words: Chengdu, Late Pleistocene, Archaeology, Lithics, Acheulean

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