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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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    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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    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
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    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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    Estimation of stature by long bones of chinese male adults in south China
    Mo Shitai
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1983, 2 (01): 80-85.  
    Abstract338)      PDF (297KB)(968)       Save
    Based on the materials of 50 Han male adult cadavers collected in South China in recent years, we have calculated the constants (a) and the regression coefficients (b) for estimating the stature by long bones as well as the coefficients of correlation (r) between the length of long bones and the stature. The value of the correlation coefficients varies within 0.516.913. This indicates that the degree of correlation is high. On this basis we have also calculated ten regression formulae by which the stature can be estimated. The correction value 0.6 mmX (age—30) is used to correct the error caused by age.
    The results of the calculation by humerus and fibula, humerus plus radius and femur plus tibia are better than those by other bones. The regression formulae made in the present article can be used to estimate the stature of South Chinese.
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    Ancient DNA capture techniques and genetic study progress of early southern China populations
    WANG Tianyi, ZHAO Dongyue, ZHANG Ming, QIAO Shiyu, YANG Fan, WAN Yang, YANG Ruowei, CAO Peng, LIU Feng, FU Qiaomei
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2020, 39 (04): 680-694.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0059
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    Substantial development of the ancient DNA capture techniques allows for obtaining DNA from a wide range of materials, including bone and environmental sediments. Moreover, effective endogenous DNA fragments are also obtainable from low-latitude regions with poor preservation conditions, greatly enriching the material sources for ancient DNA research. This paper summarizes and discusses this new technology in two main aspects: 1) it summarizes and presents the potential application of this technology; and 2) it reviews the knowledge gained from the application of this new technology to the study of ancient genomes. Specifically, this paper focuses on the study of ancient genomes from southern China and covers three points. First, we reveal the new insights gained from the study of ancient genomes. Second, we provide an in-depth analysis of the differences among ancient genomes of early populations in southern China. Third, we discuss the use of ancient DNA capture technology in successfully obtaining high quality mitochondrial genomic information from four individuals (3446-3180 cal BP) of Dayin Cave site in Yunnan Province.

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    A review of lithic technology and implied human behaviors from some typical Acheulean sites
    LI Hao, LEI Lei, LI Dawei, ZHANG Meng
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 354-369.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0011
    Abstract770)   HTML102)    PDF (60752KB)(713)       Save

    New research in recent years has obtained a series of achievements on our understanding of technological characteristics of the Acheulean Techno-complex in China. However, few studies in the region have focused on deep-seated issues regarding hominid social behaviors. In this paper, we present a review of social behavioral studies in three well-known Acheulean sites (i.e., Olorgesailie in Kenya, Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in Israel and Boxgrove in England) outside of China. We suggest that the technological strategies or material cultures can be thought as important reflections or expressions of invisible social behaviors, the latter consisting of an essential aspect in understanding the mechanisms and processes of human cultural evolution in the Stone Age. Therefore, in addition to investigating the archaeological records, social behavioral information that implied in these records will also need to be carefully unveiled, through which we can contribute to a better explanation of “the muddle in the middle” in human evolution.

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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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    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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    Periodic climate change and human adaptation
    LYU Houyuan
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (04): 731-748.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0029
    Abstract453)   HTML88)    PDF (2283KB)(658)       Save

    Since ancient times, climate change, especially periodic oscillation, has profoundly affected the transformation and development of human society. Periodic climate change left its imprints in the origins and migration of humans in the Paleolithic Age, the evolution of culture and civilization in the Neolithic Age, the rise and fall of dynasties in historical periods, the socio-economic turmoils in the era of industrialization, and all other anthropological issues. On the basis of new evidence and progresses in paleoclimatology, paleoanthropology, and environmental archaeology in recent years, this paper examines climatic characteristics at various development stages and key nodes of human society from the perspective of periodic climate change. Using typical study cases, it introduces and analyzes the complex interaction between periodic climate change and human activities at different temporal and spatial scales in the Paleolithic, Neolithic and historical periods, involving the link of periodic climate change to human evolution and migration during the Paleolithic Age, the association of periodic climate change with cultural succession as well as the origin and development of agriculture during the Neolithic Age, complex relationship between periodic climate change and human activities since the historical period, and new viewpoints on the mechanisms of periodic climate change and human social adaptability; it also discusses the similarities and differences between natural and social sciences in understanding the mechanisms underlying the relationship of climate change to human activities, and expounds a new paradigm to study of the relationship between climate change and human activities under the background of interdisciplinary research.

    This new research paradigm involves progresses and breakthroughs in theories, methods, technologies, and applications of climate change and social-cultural development. The following aspects thus must be considered in future studies: 1) transforming the traditional and scattered evidence of qualitative description into continuous temporal-spatial sequences of quantitative parameters (e,g., rate of change, speed, amplitude, threshold) and, and taking into account the multi-source, multi-scale, high-dimensional and complex spatio-temporal dependence of data; 2) merging the case study into the statistical test of big data, and distinguishing the climate-culture phenomena and nodes associated with periodic changes and event superpositions at different time scales through statistical methods such as Bayesian probability and probability inference; 3) carrying out systematical studies on the representative signs of cultures and their quantitative methods in different scenes of history and prehistoric periods, and establishing linear-nonlinear relationships models among human activities, cultural changes, and variations of temperature, precipitation and ecological environment; and 4) having a clear understanding that the studies of paleoclimate changes are providing evidence of multi-layered interaction for the study of earth system science together with the studies of archaeological culture instead of just serving for interpreting past human activities.

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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
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    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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    Possible rheumatoid arthritis found in a human sacrifice skeleton from the Eastern Zhou tomb of Songzhuang village, Qi county, Henan province
    SUN Lei
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (02): 248-260.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0033
    Abstract638)   HTML78)    PDF (335957KB)(652)       Save

    The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the evidence for rheumatoid arthritis in a sample of human sacrifice skeleton uncovered from a noble tomb of eastern Zhou period at Qixian Songzhuang cemetery in Henan Province. The human sacrifice is characterized by numerous symmetrical surface erosions in the joints of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Radiographs revealed that osteoporosis was evident in the joints with erosions. The possibility of seronegative spondyloarthropathies cannot be completely ruled out due to the lack of preservation of all the vertebrae and both sacroiliac joints. However, by comparing the major differential signs for diagnosing various joint diseases, rheumatoid arthritis is suggested as the most probable cause of this pathology in the human sacrifice skeleton.

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    Ancient mitogenomes reveals Holocene human population history in the Nenjiang River valley
    LI Chunxiang, ZHANG Fan, MA Pengcheng, WANG Lixin, CUI Yinqiu
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2020, 39 (04): 695-705.   DOI: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0058
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    The Nenjiang River valley is one of the most important settlements for ancient Chinese people in northeast China. Archaeological research demonstrates that the inhabitants had practiced mixed hunting-gathering-fishing since the Neolithic Age, only began to engage in animal husbandry and limited millet cultivation until the late Neolithic Age and early Bronze Age. A problem remained about whether it was a transfer of culture and technology or if it involved the migration of people who experimented with animal husbandry and limited millet cultivation and then brought them to Nenjiang River valley. Here we successfully sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial DNA genomes of 11000 to 2000-year-old humans from the Nenjiang River Valley. The results show that the Bronze / Iron Age populations of Nenjiang River valley matrilineal received partial contribution from the populations of the West Liao River, despite some level of continuity between Neolithic Age groups and Bronze / Iron Age. Combining paleoclimatology, archaeology, and linguistics, we estimate that the ancient people of West Liao River had migrated to the Nenjiang River valley carried their cultural techniques and languages between 4,000 and 3,000 years ago.

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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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    Phenomenon of mother-infant joint burials from the Jiayi cemetery in Turpan, Xinjiang
    WANG Anqi, ZHANG Wenxin, ZOU Zining, WANG Long, ZHANG Quanchao
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (01): 1-10.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0094
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    The mother-infant relationship has long been considered as an important topic both in the fields of anthropology and psychology. Anthropologically, the nutritional metabolism of the mother and infant during pregnancy is closely related to their long-term health status; while from the psychological perspective, this relationship is important to the formation of consciousness, psychological development, identity of the children, which is also reflected in the social and cultural constitution. Exploring mother-infant nexus of the ancient populations provides an approach to the understanding of the social life and ideology of our past. This paper presents a study of four mother-infant joint burials from the Jiayi Cemetery, a Bronze-Early Iron Age cemetery from Northwest China, using the methods from human osteoarchaeology, archaeothanatology and clinical medicine. Biological data of the human remains, and the distribution of these skeletons were collected and analyzed. Results show that all the adult individuals were females of childbearing age, and the infant individuals were in their perinatal periods. Three infants were put between the arms and bodies of the female individuals, while another fetus (M224:2) was found between the adult’s pelves. These findings indicate that the former mothers and infants died after childbirth, while the latter group seemed to have died together during childbirth. Combining the previous bioarchaeological research, malnutrition and infectious diseases were common among the Jiayi population, which could be an explanation for their high risk of death. These burials also reflect the Jiayi people’s understanding of the bond between mother and child, and their belief in 'soul'. Burying the mother and infant together is a way not only to show the respect for the dead, but also to comfort the living.

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    A probe into the southern dispersal route of early modern humans
    LI Hao
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2022, 41 (04): 630-648.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0031
    Abstract652)   HTML128)    PDF (1715KB)(564)       Save

    The southern dispersal route of early modern humans has become a highly discussed topic internationally, primarily because it aids our understanding of modern humans’ migration and adaptations in the southern part of Eurasia, Island Southeast Asia and Oceania. This paper aims to review various aspects of this dispersal, including its timing, possible routes, and current debates.

    Presently, increasing evidence indicates that early modern humans equipped with Middle Paleolithic technologies migrated out of Africa and arrived in the Arabia peninsular and South Asia during MIS 5 stage, and they may also have reached Australia by at least 65 ka. Paleoenvironmental and GIS-based analyses indicate that both coastal and inland routes were likely taken during the dispersal, and current dispersal debates are concerned with establishing the range of its geographic expansion, in addition to assessing how influential it was in facilitating the occupation of early modern humans in different regions.

    After ca. 50 ka, early modern humans on the Southern Dispersal Route begin to show similar behavioral characteristics with contemporaneous modern humans in Africa and in the northern part of Eurasia, such as the use of ochres, personal ornamentation, and cave art. At the same time, these modern humans also developed regional adaptations independently, for instance, the exploitation of rainforest environments and marine resources, the production of water craft, amongst others. Regarding lithic technology, archaeological evidence in South Asia shows the appearance of advanced microlithic technology (microblade, backed tools and etc.) by 50-30 ka, whereas in Southeast Asia and the Oceania, lithic technology trends towards miniaturization, expediency, and an emphasis on micro-flake production. The application of use-wear and residue analyses also indicates that some micro-flakes were used to make organic tools or to form part of composite tools, implying the existence of complex technological behaviors.

    South China is adjacent to Southeast Asia and the Indian Peninsular and therefore can be included in research on the Southern Dispersal Route, from both geographical and environmental perspectives. However, such a study has rarely been done in South China. To explore the emergence and evolution of early modern humans in South China, quantitative and inter-regional technological-based comparisons and analyses are needed on both the Middle Paleolithic assemblages and those micro-flake-based Late Paleolithic assemblages found in South China, along with robust use wear and residue studies.

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    Discussion on the Mesolithic Age
    Chen Chun
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    1995, 14 (01): 82-90.  
    Abstract377)      PDF (2869KB)(558)       Save
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    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (04): 733-736.  
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    The research progress and prospect of organic residue analysis in China
    YANG Yimin
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (03): 535-545.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0051
    Abstract498)   HTML53)    PDF (698KB)(511)       Save

    Organic residue analysis refers to extract and identify organic molecules from their carriers, and explore the biological origins of organic residue in order to understand the processing and exploitation of ancient animals and plants by ancient humans, as well as the function of corresponding carriers. Organic residue analysis has been practiced over forty years in China, and many advances have been achieved, but still needs more attention. This paper mainly reviews the development history of organic residue analysis in China archaeology, and then summarizes the research progress associated with animal products, cereal crop products, economic crop products, carbonized materials in vessels and organic gemstones. These studies mainly involve the use of biomarkers, lipids and proteins, also a few breakthroughs of plant microfossils including starch grains and phytolith analysis. Finally, the prospect of organic residue analysis in China is outlined.

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    Progress and issues of chronological studies of human fossil sites in China
    GE Junyi, DENG Chenglong, SHAO Qingfeng, PEI Shuwen, TANG Ruiping, TU Hua, GAO Xing
    Acta Anthropologica Sinica    2021, 40 (03): 393-410.   DOI: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0061
    Abstract687)   HTML96)    PDF (12611KB)(489)       Save

    The abundant ancient human remains in China provide important basic evidence and data for the study of the human origin, migration and evolution in East Asia or even the world. However, based on the compilation and statistical analysis of the published chronological data of more than 2000 Paleolithic and human fossil sites, we surprisingly found that most of these sites in China have never been dated, and less than 20% of them have carried out dating work. In addition, only about 10% of these sites have relatively reliable chronological data, but only with a small proportion have even carried out cross-dating with multiple dating methods. For more than 80 sites where human fossils were unearthed, the geochronometry data of more than a half still remain controversial. Here, we conducted a detailed analysis of the common complex syn-deposition and post-deposition reworking phenomena in some paleolithic and human fossil sites, especially the cave sites, and discussed the issues of the insufficient dating platform and geochronological researchers in China, the archaeological excavation process, and the chronological sampling and dating methodology, as well the possible ill effects on the chronological study of the Paleolithic and human fossils sites in China by them. Then, possible measures and suggestions for the future improvement in anthropological chronology research in China have been proposed. We hoped that these improving suggestions may attract more attention and deeper thinking for the perspectives of this research field.

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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
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    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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