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    Stature characteristics of the Chinese Mongolians
    DALAI Wuyun, ZHENG Lianbin, LI Yonglan
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 282-294.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0015
    Abstract3712)   HTML758)    PDF (6668KB)(340)       Save

    The paper is to study the stature of Mongolians in China. The adults stature of 4410 Chinese Mongolians (43% man; 57% women) was measured so as to analyze the stature classification and the variation trend of stature between different age groups and ethnic groups. The stature of Mongolian men is hyper-middle stature, while that of women is middle stature. Among 13 Mongolian ethnic groups, the stature of men in Ejina Torgouts are the tallest but the shortest ones in Yunnan while the stature of women in Ordos are the tallest but the shortest ones in Yunnan. The tall stature of men and women are with the highest occurrence rate, while with the lower occurrence rate of shorter and taller stature. The stature of Chinese Mongolians is close to the stature of other Chinese northern ethnic groups, higher than that of Chinese 7 southern ethnic groups, lower than that of Han nationality in the north, higher than that of Han nationality in the south, and lower than Japanese and Koreans. The stature difference among 13 ethnic groups is statistically important. Mongolians have higher stature than other ethnic groups in China.

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    Somatotype characteristics of the She people in Fujian
    HU Rong
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 824-833.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0027
    Abstract2165)   HTML3176)    PDF (10839KB)(1585)       Save

    According to historical records, She people had lived at the junction of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi before Tang Dynasty. Today She people are mainly distributed in seven provinces, including Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Anhui, Hunan and Guizhou. However, there has been a great controversy about the origin and migration of She people. In this study, we randomly selected 504 She nationality adults (285 males and 219 females) aged above18 years old from Fu’an city and Fuding city of Fujian Province, with measuring 10 Physical parameters including stature, weight, biepicondylar breadth of the humerus, biepicondylar breadth of the femur, circumference of tensed arm, circumference of claf, thickness of triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, supraspinale skinfold and middle calf skinfold. The Heath-Carter somatotype method was used to analyze the somatotype of She people in eastern Fujian. The average somatotype of She males (5.02-3.76-1.76) was endodermic, while the average somatotype of females (6.91-3.50-1.23) was endodermic. Compared with other southern ethnic minorities in China, the results show that somatotype of She people is closer to Han groups, especially the Han people from southern and eastern Fujian, and Han people from Guangxi, but more different from southern ethnic minority, which suggested that formation process of She nationality is closely related to Han nationality. This study provides the biological clue for origin of She, and also provides the necessary data and materials for the anthropological research in China.

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    Paternal genetic structure of Han and Hui male populations in Shandong
    ZHANG Jinke, DONG Wei, TANG Guangfeng, HUANG Xiaoliang, YANG Zhen, WANG Xiaojun, ZHANG Jie, ZHAO Yingjian, ZHU Yiqing, JIANG Li
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (01): 65-72.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0007
    Abstract2155)   HTML220)    PDF (1325KB)(463)       Save

    This study is based on 75 Y-SNPs and 23 Y-STRs to analyze the paternal genetic structure of Shandong Han and Hui males and provides basic data for forensic application and population genetics. Mini-sequencing was used to type 75 Y-SNPs of 187 individuals of Han and 130 individuals of Hui. The PowerPlex®Y23 kit was used to type 23 Y-STRs of all individuals. Allele frequency, haplotype frequency and haplogroup frequency were calculated by direct counting. Gene diversity, haplotype diversity and haplogroup diversity were calculated according to the formula D=n(1-∑pi2)/(n-1). The median-joining networks were constructed using NETWORK 5.0 and NETWORK Publisher. The research results showed that haplogroup O-M175, C-M130, N-M231, Q-M242 were the major haplogroups of the Han population, and haplogroup O-M175, J-M304, R-M207, C-M130, N-M231 were the major haplogroups of Hui population. 187 haplotypes were detected in Han populations based on twenty-three Y-STR loci, and the haplotype diversity was 1.000. And 121 haplotypes were detected in Hui populations, the haplotype diversity was 0.9988. The Networks showed that the individuals of same haplogroup were relatively independently clustered. There were shared haplogroups between Han and Hui populations, as well as some population specific haplogroups. For example, haplogroups J-M304 and R-M207 were prevalent in Hui population, while haplogroup Q-M242 was prevalent in Han population. The major haplogroup of both populations was haplogroup O-M175. Haplogroups J-M304 and R-M207 were distributed at high frequencies in Shandong Hui male population, and haplogroups Q-M242 were distributed at high frequencies in the Shandong Han male population. A certain percentage of unique Y chromosome haplotypes in western Eurasia and the Middle East were retained among the Shandong Hui male population.

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    Canine fossa and evolution of the human mid-facial bones
    Francesc RIBOT Trafí, Mario GARCÍA Bartual, Alfredo José ALTAMIRANO Enciso, Qian WANG
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 193-217.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2020.0016
    Abstract1929)   HTML165)    PDF (83724KB)(702)       Save

    The canine fossa is an important feature in the facial skeleton of many hominins, including modern humans. However, its phylogenetic significance is debated. Some researchers consider it as a plesiomorphic characteristic in a generalized face that, with some exceptions, is found in both extinct and extant great apes and in the hominins. Others consider that the canine fossa is a derived characteristic only found in Homo sapiens and its direct ancestors, and that it is related to an arched zygomatic-alveolar crest (ZAC). However, this relationship is not always fulfilled, and in Homo sapiens, there is a notable variability: An arched ZAC with the presence or absence of a canine fossa, and straight oblique ZAC with presence or absence of a canine fossa. In this sense, we hypothesize that the canine fossa is related to the degree of anterior extension of the maxillary sinus and that the morphology of the ZAC is related to the degree of lateral extension of said sinus. During the hominine evolution, the canine fossa has undergone different transformations, such as the maxillary furrow (Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus), maxillary fossula (P. robustus), and the sulcus maxillaris (Homo ergaster), or has been obliterated (Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Kenyanthropus platyops, Homo rudolfensis). In the taxa where it has been obliterated, the mechanism of obliteration is different in the hominins of the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene compared to those of the Middle Pleistocene (Homo heidelbergensis/rhodesiensis, Homo nenaderthalensis). The facial morphology of H. rhodesiensis would exclude it from the line evolving to H. sapiens.

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    Modeling the origin of modern humans in light of new evidence
    NI Xijun
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (04): 576-592.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0028
    Abstract1810)   HTML762)    PDF (1296KB)(1253)       Save

    Anatomically modern human (AMH) is a term used for living and fossil humans that have globular skull, short and flat face, gracile skeleton, and a set of other osteological distinctive features different from most of the archaic humans. Researchers, who take Multiregional Evolution model (MEM) as their paradigm, use AMH as a counter part of archaic Homo sapiens, while Recent African Origin (RAO) supporters use the term for all H. sapiens. MEM was derived from continuous evolution ideology. Branching evolution was believed to be negligible during the rise of modern populations. The similarities between different local populations were regarded as the results of convergent evolution. RAO on the other hand suggests that human evolution follows the cladistic form as in the other creatures. AMHs belong to a monophyletic group and have a single origin in Africa. Non-African human populations dispersed out of Africa. Archaic human populations in Europe and Asia were replaced by the anatomically modern human during the dispersal of the latter, and there were very limited genetic exchanges between modern and archaic human populations. Recent advances in ancient DNA and proteomic researches revealed that inter-specific interbreeding did occur among H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis and the unnamed Denisovan populations. Genomic analyses, however, indicate that regions with a high frequency of Neanderthal derived alleles in modern human genomes are mostly related to deleterious genes. Strong reproductive isolation between modern humans and Neanderthals was also detected. Instead of supporting the multiregional model, the molecular data actually reveals that modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans are all belong to their own species at genetic level. Debates over taxonomic assignments of some specific fossils may not be helpful for detecting the evolutionary pattern of Homo in general and the origin of H. sapiens in particular, because most of recent comparisons and analyses are at specimen or population levels, not at species level. Our recent parsimony analyses and Bayesian inferring based on large data matrix revealed that the AMHs formed a monophyletic group. Another monophyletic clade represented by Dali and Harbin skulls is the sister of this group. The divergent time between Neanderthals and AMHs is over 1 million years. This estimation is much older than previous aDNA inferring, but is consistent with the recent results based on genome-wide genealogical analyses. Biogeographic model tests also reveal that a model including multiple multi-directional dispersals among Asia, Europe and Asia statistically fits the phylogenetic tree better than the MEM and RAO.

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    Differences of maximum growth age in height, mass among Han, Mongolian and Japanese students
    Deli Geer, Wuyun Gerile
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 847-856.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0033
    Abstract1437)   HTML35)    PDF (18182KB)(136)       Save

    To analysis the development status of height and mass with Han, Mongolian students in Inner Mongolia and Japanese students aged 7-18 in 2014, and explore national difference of the maximum growth age in height and mass. The data of Han and Mongolian students were from “2014 survey on the physical fitness and health of students in Inner Mongolia autonomous region”; Data of Japanese students were obtained from “statistical information of the Heisei 26 annual sports survey” of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan. The national differences of the development status of height and mass, maximum growth age in height and mass(MIA-H, MIA-W) among Han, Mongolian and Japanese students were compared. The Results showed that height of both Han male and female were taller than Mongolian and Japanese at aged 7-18, 1.98 cm and 1.54 cm higher than Mongolian, and 2.59 cm and 2.91 cm higher than Japanese on average respectively(P<0.05). The height of Mongolian male and female were 0.61 cm and 1.37 cm taller than Japanese (P<0.05).The mass of Han male was 1.97 kg Heavier than that of Mongolian and 4.01 kg Heavier than that of Japanese on average(P<0.05). The mass of Han female was similar to Mongolian, and 2.59 kg and 2.67 kg heavier than Japanese on average respectively(P<0.05). Han boys has the earliest maximum growth age in height(HIA-H) at 10.66 years, which is followed by Japanese in 11.56 years and Mongolian in 12.39 years. The HIA-H of Japanese female was 9.73 years; Han and Mongolian female were 10.41 years and 10.10 years respectively. The maximum growth age of mass(MIA-W) among Han Mongolian and Japanese male were 12.52 years,12.62 years and 11.45 years; MIA-W in female was 10.59 years, 10.34 years and 10.14 years respectively. In 2014, the development levels of height and mass of Han and Mongolian students aged 7-18 in Inner Mongolia were higher than Japanese students of the same age. HIA-H of Han male was 1.73 years earlier than Mongolian and 0.9 years earlier than Japanese respectively, and HIA-W of Han and Mongolian male were 1.17 years and 1.07 years later than Japanese. HIA-H of Japanese female was 0.68 and 0.37 years earlier than Han and Mongolian.

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    Chronology of lithic artifact sites and hominin distribution from Early to Middle Pleistocene in China
    LU Ying, SUN Xuefeng, WANG Shejiang, LU Huayu
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (03): 411-426.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0038
    Abstract1372)   HTML892)    PDF (17485KB)(1304)       Save

    Hominin fossils and Paleolithic sites of Early and Middle Pleistocene in China can provide information to understand hominin behavioral and living environments, while a chronological framework is the basis for analyzing hominin evolution, migration, and relationship with climate change during the Pleistocene era. In the past 20 years, hominin records in China steadily increased because of the Paleolithic excavation and the advancement of dating techniques, providing amplified materials for establishing age frameworks. This study analyzed 95 Early to Middle Pleistocene sites with numerical age estimates. The distribution patterns are shown under the loess-paleosol chronology constraints and a relatively continuous chronology of hominin activities is established from approximately 2 MaBP to the last interglacial period. These sites are mainly distributed in four regions of the Nihewan Basin and the adjacent Zhoukoudian, Qingling Mountains Range, and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and South China, where the maximum intensity of hominin activities occurred in order during the Early Pleistocene, Middle Pleistocene, and in the late part of Middle Pleistocene, respectively. Various excavated sites still lack chronological study or encounter issues in dating. Therefore, improvement of chronological study is necessary.

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    Comparison of head and facial characteristics of 14 ethnic groups in China
    ZHANG Xinghua, YU Keli, ZHENG Lianbin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 226-238.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0032
    Abstract1125)   HTML57)    PDF (1255KB)(220)       Save

    Head and face characteristics are important for the classification of human races, and are also used as evidence of kinship in anthropological studies. In this research, 16 head and face characteristics of 2,989 adults (1,434 males and 1,555 females) for 14 ethnic groups were investigated in ethnic groups of Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, Guizhou, Hainan, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia between 2006 and 2016. Results of this study are as follows. In the ethnic groups Muya, Ersu, Lingao and Baima, males had larger facial and head breadths. Tuva, Buryat and Mosuo males were larger in facial and head breadths, morphological facial height and nasal height. Facial and head breadths of Deng, Gejia and Mang males were small, but morphological facial height and nasal height were large. Kongge males had small facial and head breadth, morphological facial height and nasal height. For females, the Tuva and Buryat ethnic groups had large head and facial breadths, nasal height and auricular height. Gejia and Kongge females had small head and facial breadths, nasal height and auricular height. Head and facial breadths of Muya, Ersu, Bajia, Baima and Sherpa females were large, whereas nasal height and auricular height were small. Head and facial breadths of Deng, Khmus and Mang females were small, but nasal height and auricular height were large. It was noted that head breadth and physiognomic ear length were highly correlated with environmental factors such as latitude, annual average temperature and annual rainfall. Through statistical cluster analysis and principal component analysis, it was recognized that head and face characteristics of Muya, Ersu, Baima and Qiang are relatively similar, and that the head and face characteristics of Khmus and Va were relatively close. The Tuva, Buryats and Mongol have the closest head and face characteristics.

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    An experimental study on Paleolithic spheroids of China
    LU Liqun, DONG Bing, CHEN Shengqian
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (04): 587-599.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0008
    Abstract1047)   HTML44)    PDF (16196KB)(208)       Save

    Spheroid is a widely distributed tool type of the Paleolithic, from the Oldowan to Upper Paleolithic, all over the Old World. To date there are many divergent arguments about its manufacture and function. This study based on the archaeological records of China, where thousands of spheroids were found in 80 Paleolithic sites. Their forms include flaked spheroids and the highly rounded ones with battered surfaces, and the raw materials used vary from relatively soft limestone to quartzite. The metric data indicate it has an apparently skewed popularity in their size and weight, in accord with the size of male adults’ palm. An experimental approach is used to examine the techniques in the manufacture of spheroid, define the time cost of production, and test a functional possibility. Experiments suggest that the manufacture of spheroids is time costly, more expensive than the handaxe, more hours needed to produce a smoother surface. The dominant average size indicates that this tool was most likely used with freehand throwing. Throwing experiment shows, in relative to their distance, there is an optimal size and weight in spheroids. Combining archaeological context in which spheroids were found, we can conclude that spheroids could be a hunting tool, but shorter in shooting distance, more risky, and more opportunistic than the Upper Paleolithic hunting tools.

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    A study of physical characteristics of the Sherpas
    YU Keli, XIANG Xiaoxue, LI Yonglan, ZHANG Hongming, DU Huimin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 801-810.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0049
    Abstract1026)   HTML38)    PDF (15314KB)(181)       Save

    In 2016, we measured the head and face and body indicators in 182 Sherpas (98 males; 84 females) in Tibet. Excel 2010 and SPSS 21.0 were used to analysis the data. Results show that the average of the head and face indicators in Sherpas adults belongs to brachycephaly, hypsicephalic type, tapeinocephalic type, and mesorrhiny. The average of the physical indicators in Sherpas adults belongs to middle trunk, medium shoulder breadth, narrow distance between iliac crests and the sub-medium height, and the male is the submakroskelic type, the female is the mesatiskelic type. Compared with other ethnic groups, the physical characteristics of the Sherpas are closest to those of the Monba, followed by the Lhoba, and belong to the Zang-Yi corridor category. At present, the research on physical characteristics of the Sherpas in China is still in its infancy. This study has enriched the database of national physique data and provided some data support for studying the ethnic origin of the Sherpas.

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    Progress and prospects on osteological study of ancient human remains in China
    HE Jianing
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 165-180.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0016
    Abstract1021)   HTML341)    PDF (798KB)(623)       Save

    The osteological study of ancient human remains is an important part of physical anthropology, which has a history of more than one hundred years in China. Significant advances have been made in the last decade. In this paper, the progress of osteological study of Holocene human remains in China is reviewed.
    In the last ten years, the fields of research have expanded significantly, including population evolution history, paleopathology, skeletal abnormalities related to cultural customs, functional adaptation of long bones, paleodemography, body shape and size, climate adaptation, etc., and have accumulated many important physical data of ancient populations. The breadth and depth of the research have completely surpassed the situation that focused on ethnographic analysis in the last century.
    In addition to traditional methods based on metric and non-metric traits of skull and teeth, evolutionary quantitative genetic method has been introduced into regional population history study. There are also microevolutionary analysis of craniofacial morphologies on large spatial and temporal scale. Geometric morphometrics has proved to be of great value in the study of population history. In the study of paleopathology, there are some regional comparative researches focus on stress conditions, dental diseases, trauma, etc. Particular attention has been paid to the impact of social, cultural, and subsistence background on the pattern of disease. Biomechanics and geometric morphometrics have been used to analyze the long bone function, which provides important information for the reconstruction of activity patterns of past humans. New methods such as digital photography, micro-CT and 3D laser scanning, geometric morphology and morphometric maps have played an important role in supporting these progresses.
    Most studies highlight the significant advantages of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, which is also essential for the future study. However, there are still some fields to be explored in China, such as the osteological study of children, female and physical adaptation to the environment. Basic research of osteology also needs to be strengthened.

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    Defining wedge-shaped cores and classification of microblade cores
    JIN Yingshuai, ZHANG Xiaoling, YI Mingjie
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 307-319.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0072
    Abstract989)   HTML72)    PDF (2703KB)(235)       Save

    Microblade technology was widely distributed in Northeast Asia and North America in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene and research on wedge-shaped core technology has been particularly abundant. This paper briefly reviews the history of research on wedge-shaped cores and then proposes a formal definition of that core type and a system of classification for microblade cores based on the cha?ne opératoire and mental template concepts. The differences between wedge-shaped cores and other microblade cores lie not only in variations in morphology, but also in the strategies of production. Based on our analysis, we propose that flake blank exploitation strategies played an important role in the diffusion of microblade technology in North China.

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    Stone materials discovered newly in the Upper Paleolithic sites of Gannan county, Heilongjiang Province
    GUAN Ying, LI Youqian, XING Song, HUANG Liping, CHENG Li, ZHOU Zhenyu
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (02): 281-291.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2018.0052
    Abstract922)   HTML77)    PDF (4002KB)(276)       Save

    The Paleolithic archaeological field work and systematical excavations in Heilongjiang Province started in the 1930s. Thus far, more than 100 sites or localities have been reported or published in different areas of Heilongjiang Province, mainly for the Upper Paleolithic. A new field survey was conducted in Gannan County in 2017 jointly by the Institute of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, and the Heilongjiang Provincial Archaeology and Cultural Relics Institute. Upper Paleolithic deposits were found in a vast area around Taipinghu Reservoir, along with fine chert resources. One semi-subterranean dwelling was found at the Guanghetun Locality 1. These discoveries indicate large scale human occupations during the Upper Paleolithic period, associated with mature blade and microblade technologies. Two charcoal samples were excavated from the uppermost part of weathered crust of strata at the Guanghetun Locality 1. Radiocarbon dating results suggest that all of the archaeological remains found in our survey are younger than 30000 years. From the surface-collected and excavated specimens in the study area, a typical Upper Paleolithic lithic industry is identified. Chert is utilized as the main material used for the lithic technology of the ancient occupants, followed by siliceous limestone and some other rock types. The shapes of both microblade cores and blade cores are varied, including wedge-shaped, boat-shaped, and conical-shaped cores, etc; modified tools include end scraper, scrapers, unifacial points, bifacial points, modified microblades, etc. Heavy duty tools are not evident in this site or in the surrounding area.

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    Morphological diversities and evolutionary implications of the late Middle Pleistocene hominins in China
    LIU Wu, WU Xiujie
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (04): 563-575.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0024
    Abstract909)   HTML169)    PDF (2732KB)(653)       Save

    The hominin fossils have been found in more than 20 late Middle Pleistocene sites in present China. For many years, these fossils have been classified as archaic Homo sapiens, intermediate between Homo erectus and early modern humans, and the ancestors of modern humans in East Asia. However, such an opinion has never been widely accepted in paleoanthropological community. There have been debates on the evolution and taxonomy of late Middle Pleistocene hominins in China and around the world. Since 21st century, some noticeable progresses on the late Middle Pleistocene hominin evolution in China have been achieved. The discoveries and studies on the hominin fossils of Penghu, Xuchang, Hualongdong, Xiahe and Harbin greatly enriched the hominin fossil record in China. Studies on the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils in China revealed complicated morphological diversities indicating simply classifying all the hominins of this time period into archaic Homo sapiens cannot accurately reflect the evolutionary patterns of Middle Pleistocene hominins in China. According to the studies of the hominin fossils from Xujiayao, Xuchang, Hualongdong, Xiahe and Harbin, some new opinions on the evolutionary pattern and taxonomy of the late Middle Pleistocene hominins in China have been proposed and triggered different understandings.

    In this study, with analyzing the morphological diversities of late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils in China, four types of the diversities were identified. Xuchang and Xujiyao are characterized with huge-sized crania and cranial capacity (1800 mL and 1700 mL respectively) with some Neanderthal features. These features occurred together in Xuchang and Xujiayao crania constitute unique morphological combinations which have not been found in all other contemporaneous hominin fossils. The other types of morphological diversities are characterized with 1) dominant common sharing features of late Middle Pleistocene hominins; 2) mainly primitive features; and 3) mainly derived or modern features. These morphological diversities suggest that not all the late Middle Pleistocene hominins in China contributed the formation of modern humans equally. Regarding the opinions that put some of the hominin fossils into different Homo members or taxa, the authors believe that at the present with no fully understanding these morphological diversities, treating the related late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils in China with combined or mosaic morphological features as populations of unclear taxonomic status is a proper way.

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    Characteristics and comparison of body composition of the Monba, Lhoba and Sherpa peoples
    XIANG Xiaoxue, DU Huimin, YU Keli, ZHENG Lianbin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (01): 109-117.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0014
    Abstract903)   HTML23)    PDF (632KB)(108)       Save

    In 2016, we used bioelectrical impedance methods to measure the 19 body composition indicators in 276 Monba (98 males; 178 females), 93 Lhoba (34 males; 59 females) and 181 Sherpa (97 males; 84 females). Excel 2003 and SPSS 19 were used to analysis the data. Results show that the average body fat percentages of Monba and Lhoba females are in the obese range, with the Monba having a visceral fat rating of 10.26, which may cause a higher incidence of related diseases. Monba and Lhoba males have significant coherence in physical components, and are similar to Tibetan and Muyag males. The muscle mass of these three ethnic groups (Monba, Lhoba and Sherpa) is similar. Male Sherpa muscle mass is less than found in the Monba and Lhoba, but the Sherpa is lighter, and the muscle rate is much higher than in the Monba and Lhoba. At present, this research on body composition indicators of the Monba, Lhoba and Sherpa is still in its infancy, but this analysis certainly has enriched the physical data of Tibetan populations leading to significantly improving the nutritional health and physical quality of these people.

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    The incisive canal position of the Chinese Pleistocene humans and its evolutionary implications
    LIU Wu, HUI Jiaming, HE Jianing, WU Xiujie
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 739-750.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0015
    Abstract888)   HTML251)    PDF (11332KB)(406)       Save

    When studying the fossils of Homo erectus from Zhoukoudian, Weidenreich pointed out that the incisive foramen is more posteriorly positioned compared with that of modern humans in which the foramen is situated anteriorly more close to alveolar border. Since then, incisive foramen have been used in paleoanthroology studies as an indicator with evolutionary value. However, till now, only one Chinese human fossil from Zhoukoudian was studied for the position of incisive foramen while no study of incisive foramen positions in modern Chinese has been conducted. In this study, the positions of incisive foramen of Chinese human fossils and specimens of modern Chinese population were observed and measured. Based on these, in conjunction with previous studies of incisive foramen of human fossils around the world, the expression pattern and evolutionary implications of the incisive foramen positions for Chinese human fossils were explored. Our study indicates that from Early Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene, the positions of incisive foramens in Chinese human fossils follow the trend to the anterior positions. The positions of incisive foramens in Early and Middle Pleistocene Homo erectus (Yunxian and Zhoukoudian) are more posteriorly positioned; In late Middle Pleistocene, the positions of incisive foramens in some specimens (Dali, Changyang, Hualongdong) are moved forwardly resembling those of modern humans, while other specimens (Jinniushan, Chaoxian) exhibit posteriorly positioned incisive foramens, which are within the variation ranges of Homo erectus; In all the specimens of Late Pleistocene humans, the positions of incisive foramens situate anteriorly within the variation ranges of modern humans. The investigation of the incisive foramen in modern Chinese population show that although the positions in modern humans are anterior, the size and shape of the incisive foramens in modern humans exhibit pronounced variabilities. This expression pattern of the incisive foramens in modern humans will affect the evaluations to the position and evolutionary implications of the incisive foramens. In additions, nearly all the incisive foramens in modern human specimens are open in their anterior borders and the incisive canals take inclined trends towards superoposterior directions from the entrance. This discovery is different from the vertical direction of the incisive canals in modern humans proposed by Weidenreich. In considering the investigated data of the incisive foramens in Chinese human fossils, modern Chinese specimens and incisive foramen positions of other human fossils around the world, the authors believe that the positions of incisive foramens exhibit relatively fixed pattern in the human evolution and posteriorly positioned incisive foramens should be treated as a primitive traits.

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    A study of skull morphology of Yangshao Culture residents from the Sunzhuang site in Zhengzhou
    ZHOU Yawei, ZHANG Xiaoran, GU Wanfa
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (04): 611-627.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0036
    Abstract816)   HTML98)    PDF (22970KB)(468)       Save

    The Sunzhuang site, located in the south of Sunzhuang Village, Zhongyuan District, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, is a late Yangshao cultural site distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Through the measurement and observation of 10 cases of basically intact skulls unearthed from the site, the following conclusions are drawn: The craniofacial features of Sunzhuang group can be summarized as follows: high cranial type combined with narrow cranial type, moderate to large facial flatness, narrow frontal type, middle nasal type, low orbital type, middle facial angle belonging to flat jaw type, underdeveloped canine dentate fossa and nasal root fossa. Simple parietal suture. The morphological characteristics of the skulls of the ancient residents of the Sunzhuang formation belong to the Asian Mongolian nationality. The results of the multivariate statistical analysis of the morphological characteristics of the skull showed that the Sunzhuang formation is most closely related to the modern South China formation (R=1.26) of Asian Mongolians, and is estranged from the modern Mongolian group (R=1.80) and Tungus group (R=2.06). In comparison with Neolithic formation, the relationship between Sunzhuang male formation and Yangshao merge formation (R=1.00), Miaozigou formation (R=1.00), Xishan formation (R=1.07) and Dawenkou formation (R=1.13) is close. Sunzhuang female group is closest to Dawenkou group (Dij=3.10), Xubao group (Dij=4.58) and Xishan group (Dij=4.60). In summary, We can see that the middle and late Yangshao people distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River have the same craniofacial characteristics and high homology, and should belong to the “ancient Central Plains type” residents.

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    A study of pollen and fungal spores extracted from the feces of domestic herbivores in China and their implications for human behavior
    ZHANG Yaping, ZHAO Keliang, ZHOU Xinying, YANG Qingjiang, JIA Weiming, LI Xiaoqiang
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (05): 879-887.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0026
    Abstract812)   HTML36)    PDF (1925KB)(270)       Save

    It has been demonstrated that plant microfossils in the coprolites unearthed from archaeological sites are important materials for reconstructing past ecologies and environments as well as human activities. However, the palynological assemblages of animals’ coprolites that reflects human behavior of feeding and grazing are still poorly understood. Here we present the results of a study of the major pollen and fungal spore types found in the feces of six common domestic herbivores in China: goat (Capra aegagrus), sheep (Ovis aries), cattle (Bos taurus), camel (Camelus sp.), yak (Bos grunniens), and horse (Equus caballus). A study of surface soil samples in proximity to a sheepfold was also conducted to evaluate the influence of factors affecting the transmission of coprophilous fungal spores. The pollen characteristics of the feces include overall low taxonomic abundance and a high proportion of just a few pollen types, such as those of the Poaceae and Chenopodiaceae, which are affected by human activities. The main fungal spore types detected in domestic herbivore feces include the genera Sporormiella, Sodaria, Pleospora, Coniochaeta, Thecaphora and Dictyosporium. The distribution of fungal spores is apparently affected by the range of the animals, making it possible to use coprophilous spores (e.g., Sporormiella) to reconstruct the pastoral and animal breeding activities of ancient humans.

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    A methodological protocol for the analysis of Early Stone Age lithic assemblages
    Ignacio de la TORRE, Rafael MORA, PEI Shuwen, MA Dongdong
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (04): 547-567.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0046
    Abstract806)   HTML977)    PDF (34101KB)(679)       Save

    This paper proposes an analytical protocol for the study of early Palaeolithic stone tools. Our proposal follows a macroscopic approach and therefore does not cover the equally-important analysis of microscopic traces. Also, it focuses on techno-typological attributes of pre-Middle Palaeolithic artefact, thus avoiding entering into the discussion of the techno-morphological and regional particularities inherent to the lithic record from the Middle Stone Age onwards. Given the overall similarities of technological solutions employed during the Early Stone Age lithic assemblages and their relative typological homogeneity across the Old World, we argue that using standardized protocols in the description of stone tool collections may improve comparability and help understanding global patterns of technological behaviour across the early Palaeolithic. From this perspective, this paper will review the main theoretical approaches to the study of Early Stone Age stone assemblages and will propose analytical perspectives and terminologies in the description of flaked, detached and pounded tools, as well in the study of refits and conventions in artefact measuring and illustration.

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    History of experiments and debates on the identification of soft-hammer flakes
    CAO Yu, YI Mingjie
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2023, 42 (01): 36-45.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0009
    Abstract795)   HTML35)    PDF (660KB)(249)       Save

    The soft-hammer technique refers to the method that removing flakes by direct percussion using indenters made of soft materials, usually involving wood, bones, antlers or soft stones. The use of soft-hammer technique is beneficial for controlling the morphology of flakes more effectively, which is considered to be an important sign of the progress of ancient human cognitive and technological level. Since the early 20th century, the principle of soft-hammer technique and the characteristics of soft-hammer flakes have been described by scholars during the observation of prehistoric lithic assemblages and knapping experiments. It was generally believed that flakes produced by soft-hammer percussion were usually with special attributes such as diffuse bulb of force and lipping, which were usually regarded as direct evidence. Due to the lack of soft hammer discovery in archaeological sites, these attributes usually act as the only evidence for the existence of soft-hammer technique. But with the development of targeted knapping experiments, the above-mentioned attributes have been proved to be the results of multiple factors during the percussion process, such as properties of raw materials, force angle, edge angle and even the style of different knappers and it is controversial to distinguish soft and hard hammer technique based on the characteristics of flakes. This paper reviews the process of recognizing of soft-hammer technique and the history of systematic experiments. It is suggested that the “attributes of soft-hammer flakes” should not be taken as the only evidence for the existence of soft-hammer technique, but need to take into account various factors involved in the whole percussion process. We call for the establishment of a database containing experimental and archaeological data to provide richer comparative materials for the lithic analysis.

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