Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (01): 21-29.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2017.0072

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The origin of small bifacial tools of the Upper Paleolithic in China from the Old World perspective

CHEN Youcheng1, QU Tongli2   

  1. 1.The School of History, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100089
    2.The School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking Universiy, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2017-03-08 Online:2020-02-15 Published:2020-07-17


Small bifacial tool was a complicatedly retouched and beautifully finished stone tool in China which emerged during the Upper Paleolithic period. This article makes a comparative study of the Chinese Late Pleistocene archaeological materials with that of the West. The result indicates the small bifacial tool had a long history in the West, which first arised in the Still Bay Culture of South Africa about 70,000 years ago. The Still Bay bifacial tools were made through heat treatment and pressure flaking technology, having been used as projectile points. When it was 40,000 years ago, the small bifacial points flourished in Europe with diversified forms. As for the small bifacial tools found in the East Asia, both the ages and shapes show close relationship with the West, which should be the results of culture communication between the East and West during the Late Paleolithic period.

Key words: Small bifacial tools, Old World, Culture communication between the East and West

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