Table of Content

    15 April 2024, Volume 43 Issue 02
    Invited Article
    Progress in the study of fossil orangutans in South China
    LIAO Wei
    2024, 43(02):  199-213.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0016
    Asbtract ( 239 )   HTML ( 68)   PDF (2534KB) ( 231 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    The recent studies of newly discovered Pongo fossils with precise absolute age brackets have deepened our understanding of their taxonomy, teeth size evolution and its relationship with environmental changes in southern China during the Pleistocene period. In the present study, we summarize the representative Pleistocene orangutan fossil-bearing sites in southern China and discuss the latest research progress on orangutan fossils. The orangutan fossil found so far and the chronological results indicate that orangutans first appeared in southern China in the early Early Pleistocene and lasted until the Late Pleistocene. From the results of the current studies, at least two species of orangutans may have existed in southern China during the Pleistocene period. One of them is Pongo weidenreichi that is characterized by its overall larger dental size, a high frequency of lingual cingulum remnants and a low frequency of moderate to heavy wrinkling on its molars. P. weidenreichi survived in southern China from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene. The other orangutan species, Pongo devosi, may have first appeared in southern China during the late Middle Pleistocene. Compared with P. weidenreichi, P. devosi is distinguished by its relatively smaller overall dental size, relatively lower frequency of lingual cingulum remnants on its molars, the well-developed lingual pillar and lingual cingulum on its incisors and relatively higher frequency of moderate to heavy wrinkling on its molars. More fossil evidences are needed to confirm the relationship between P. weidenreichi and P. devosi in future study. The teeth size evolution of Pleistocene orangutans shows obvious stages. Metric data of orangutan teeth fossils (>1000) from mainland Southeast Asia sites reveal that the reduction in the size of orangutan teeth fossils occurred mainly from the Early Pleistocene to the Middle Pleistocene. And orangutan teeth fossils remained relatively stable in their sizes from the Middle to Late Pleistocene. The stable carbon isotope data of Early to Late Pleistocene mammalian fossil teeth from mainland Southeast Asia can be used to reconstruct changes in the paleoenvironment and could provide some clues to interpret dental size variation of Pongo assemblages in a broader temporal and environmental context. The carbon isotope data show that dental size reduction in orangutan fossils is closely linked to environmental changes. The dental size changes in orangutans appear to coincide with the expansion of savannah biomes and the contraction of forest habitats from the Middle Pleistocene onward.

    Research Articles
    Comparison of bone artifacts from the Schöningen site in Germany and the Lingjing site in China
    WANG Hua, LI Zhanyang, Thijs van KOLFSCHOTEN
    2024, 43(02):  214-232.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0022
    Asbtract ( 170 )   HTML ( 49)   PDF (4271KB) ( 226 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Similarities play an important role in the reconstruction of human physical, cultural and technological evolution. The two sites presented in this paper, the Middle Palaeolithic site Lingjing in China Layer 10 and 11 and the Lower Palaeolithic site Schöningen 13 II-4, the so-called Schöningen Spear Horizon in Germany, show striking similarities. The archaeological record of both sites includes lithic artifacts as well as a very large assemblage of fossil bones. The preservation of the material at both sites is excellent and the faunas encountered at both sites show many similarities. The faunal lists of both sites include a diverse carnivore guild, an elephant species, two different rhinoceros species, two different equids, different cervids and large bovids. Both sites also yielded bone retouchers as well as a unique record of bone hammers that show identical, unusual flaking and percussion damage.

    These similarities are remarkable if one takes into account the difference in age (ca 200 kaBP) and the geographical distance between the two sites of ca 8000 km. Therefore, we do not assume a close cultural link between the hominin populations active at both sites. The authors assume that the observed similarities show more or less identical, opportunistic hominin behaviour at both sites located in a comparable environment with more or less similar taphonomic conditions.

    Morphology of the people's skulls from the Jinmaoyuan site in Datong, Shanxi Province
    ZHOU Yawei, WANG Yu, HOU Xiaogang, LI Shuyun
    2024, 43(02):  233-246.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0030
    Asbtract ( 164 )   HTML ( 55)   PDF (1915KB) ( 331 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    The Pingcheng Era of the Northern Wei Dynasty is characterized by the integration of various ethnic groups. The sinicization initiative of Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty greatly promoted the integration of Tuoba-Xianbei and the Han peoples. Using a cranial morphology study of 82 human skulls from the Jinmaoyuan site of Datong, the following conclusions are drawn: The skulls of the inhabitants of this cemetery can be categorized as belonging to the modern Asian Mongolian group, and they show different degrees of similarity to the East Asian and Northeast Asian types. The germline purity test showed that it was possible for both sexes to have the same line, but variation was larger in women. The Jinmaoyuan group has the closest relationship with the southern Chinese group and the northern Chinese group, and the least close relationship with the Tonggusi group. Compared to ancient groups, the results of the principal component analysis show that Jinmaoyuan is close to the ancient East Asian groups, such as the Xinfeng and Shuiposi groups, and significantly different from the ancient Dongdajing and Pagou peoples, who mainly belong to the North Asian type. Combined this analysis with those ethnological, archaeological and historical study results, we believe that the people of the Pingcheng Era represented by Jinmaoyuan site has inherited the genetic characteristics of the indigenous people of the Datong region, and was also influenced by communication with and migration of people from the North, which is more obvious in the female people than male people of the Jinmaoyuan site.

    Changes of the prehistoric people reflected by their remains from the Wuba cemetery in Gansu Province
    HE Letian, CHEN Guoke, YANG Yishi
    2024, 43(02):  247-258.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0020
    Asbtract ( 217 )   HTML ( 61)   PDF (1989KB) ( 383 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Located in northwestern China, the Hexi Corridor was an important route for communication between east-west and north-south in prehistoric and historical times. In the context of the rise of transcontinental exchanges, the migration, diffusion, and integration of prehistoric populations in the Hexi Corridor and their relationship with the development of archaeological cultures have been of great interest. However, the lack of human remains has led to an obscure understanding of the origin of Neolithic populations and their relationship to the Bronze Age population in this area. In this study, 14 adult crania excavated from the Wuba cemetery located in the central region of the Hexi Corridor were analyzed for non-metric and metric craniofacial traits. The Wuba population was compared with 30 populations from the Howells database and 26 groups from ancient northern China by principal component analysis and neighbor-joining network analysis. The results show that: 1) the Wuba population belongs to an East Asia taxon, and no individuals with craniofacial features close to those of the western Eurasian group were found; 2) the results of comparison with craniometric data from ancient populations in northern China indicate that the Wuba population has the closest affinity with the late Neolithic population from northeastern Qinghai province. The review and integration of the prehistoric population history in the Hexi Corridor indicate that this region has experienced at least two large-scale population migrations. In the late Neolithic Age, groups from Hehuang Valley spread to the Hexi Corridor on a large scale, bringing wavy cultural diffusion. In the early and middle Bronze Age, the craniofacial morphology of the Hexi population became complex due to increased human mobility, but the population attributes did not change. The large-scale southward migration of nomads from the Eurasian steppes after the Late Bronze Age brought major changes to the craniofacial morphology of the Hexi population, as well as ushering in archaeological cultural changes and shifts in subsistence in the region.

    Three-dimensional geometric morphometric analysis of patella morphology of the Neolithic people from Huiyaotian site in South China
    YE Ziqi, HE Anyi, LIANG You, LI Fajun
    2024, 43(02):  259-272.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0021
    Asbtract ( 422 )   HTML ( 284)   PDF (1673KB) ( 311 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    The shape variability of human lower limbs is one of the core topics in human evolutionary and locomotion anatomy, and it provides clues about human activities and labor in different subsistence. However, evaluations of knee morphological function analysis are commonly conducted on the distal femora and proximal tibiae, while patellae, as the essential components of the knee joint, have not been observed and evaluated with the morphological methods until the recent decade. From the anatomic perspective, dragged by soft tissues such as the quadriceps muscle group, patellar tendon, and medial and lateral patellar retinaculum, the patella can be shaped in various morphological characteristics in different locomotive preferences. Meanwhile, the constantly attach to the distal femur during flexion and extension also adjusts the articular surface of the patella. According to these assumptions, the morphological variation of patellae can theoretically manifest the development of these muscles and ligaments and the force preference in lower limb activities. As a significant site of Dingsishan Neolithic culture, the Huiyaotian site reveals a typical hunting-gathering subsistence in Southern China. The site locates on the first terrace near to the Yongjiang River in Qingxiu District of Nanning city, Guangxi. Since 1977, archaeologists have conducted several investigations into the site. In 2006 and 2016, the Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relics Protection and Archaeology, in collaboration with the Nanning Museum, conducted archaeological excavations and salvage excavations on the site, and discovered relatively rich archaeological and cultural relics. In 2006, more than 50 human burials were excavated and revealed, with burial styles including limb-flexed, contracted, and hyper-flexed (parts of them belong to dismembered burials). The authors apply three-dimensional geometric morphometric methods to the human patellae (n=43) from the site. With three main topics of bilateral asymmetry, sexual dimorphism, and age differentiation, the authors aim to identify and visualize patellae's morphological variation and the intra-group difference in this hunting-gathering society. In addition, the authors form a specific series of three-dimensional geometric morphometric methods on human patellae, including landmark setting, measure error estimation, and functional interpretation. The result indicates that the habitants developed the greater left-biases in the size of the patellae, with the right deflection of both patella apexes. The bilateral asymmetry in size and shape can point to an unbalance locomotion in labor and daily activities. Males are proven to have larger patellae. There is no significant difference in morphology between males and females, while previous research revealed a significant sexual dimorphism in diaphyseal biomechanism. It manifests the asynchronism among biomechanism and morphology, patellae, and diaphyseal limb bones. Subadults tend to own smaller patellae, with longer patellar apexes and steeper patellar bases. Morphological change with age development might refer to the strengthening of the Quadriceps muscle, and the increasing intensity and frequency of knee flexion and extension.

    Tooth wear among the second phase residents of the Zaghunluq Cemetery in Qiemo County, Xinjiang
    CHEN Feng, ZENG Yuxin, FU Chang, ZHANG Hailong, WANG Bo, XIAO Xiaoyong, LI Haijun
    2024, 43(02):  273-286.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0013
    Asbtract ( 128 )   HTML ( 43)   PDF (2202KB) ( 298 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    In this paper, the tooth wear of ancient inhabitants in the second phase of Zaghunluq Cemetery in Xinjiang Autonomous Region was observed and studied. The purpose of this study was to reveal the special tooth wear pattern and possible ways of teeth use in the Zaghunluq ancient population. The sample analyzed in this study consisted of the skeletal remains of 208 adult individuals with a total of 1849 permanent teeth.

    Through observing these tooth wear in this study, we found that all 208 individuals were affected by attrition with various degrees of dental wear, with a relatively obvious phenomenon of heavier wear of the anterior teeth than the posterior teeth in some specimens. To further reveal the wear differences between the anterior and posterior teeth in each sample, we calculated the indices of teeth wear relative to M1 of each individual and divided the calculation results into 2 sets by age (the youth, the middle-aged, the aged) and sex (the male, the female) to compare the distribution difference of the indices among different age and sex groups in Zaghunluq ancient population. At the same time, several ancient populations from different archaeological sites (Roonka, Yingpan, Nileke, Yanghai, Shuiquan, Xiawanggang, Youyao) were selected for tooth wear comparative analysis of the indices. The results indicated that the degree of tooth wear of the Zaghunluq ancient population increased significantly with the increase of age, and there was a great difference in anterior and posterior tooth wear among different age groups. The anterior tooth wear of Zaghunluq middle-aged individuals was more severe than those of Zaghunluq young and aged individuals. However, the difference between the sex groups was not significant. In addition, by comparing with other different ancient populations, we further confirmed that the anterior teeth were much more worn than the posterior ones among Zaghunluq population, which mainly occurred on middle-aged mandibular individuals.

    Given the close relationship of the wear differences between the anterior and posterior teeth with some special use of teeth, the anterior teeth wear observed on middle-aged mandibular individuals was not only affected by age and tooth eruption, but also related to the use of teeth as the non-masticatory tools of individuals. The teeth were used as tools to engage in their some daily labor activities. Consequently, it can be inferred that the anterior teeth wear is more severe than posterior teeth wear among middle-aged mandibular individuals in Zaghunluq ancient population, which may be influenced by three major factors, namely the instrumental use of tooth, tooth eruption sequence and age.

    Paleoenvironment and survival behaviour of early hominin in the Three Gorges area and its surrounding regions
    CHEN Yuzhi, WU Xianzhu
    2024, 43(02):  287-297.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0062
    Asbtract ( 155 )   HTML ( 39)   PDF (2219KB) ( 157 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    The hominin activities in China play a vital role in revealing human evolutionary processes and unveiling prehistoric human culture. In the early stage of the Early Pleistocene, a batch of palaeolithic sites have been found in the Three Gorges area and surrounding regions. There have abundant relics which reveal hominin activities, and representative sites include Longgupo site, Longgudong site, Renzidong Paleolithic site, Yuanmou Man site, Majuangou site (MJG I-III), and Lantian hominin site. The geological age dates back to 2.48~1.54 MaBP. Among them, Lantian hominin site has unearthed the well-preserved and oldest-known cranium fossil of Homo erectus in China, which dates back to 1.54~1.65 MaBP. These sites and relics corroborate hominin activities of an earlier age in situand provide the spreading and evolutionary information of hominin around China in the earlier phase.

    Based on the previous studies, this paper concentrates on these representative sites of the early stage of the Early Pleistocene. First, it reviews their geological age, geographical location, modern landform, and paleoenvironment (paleoclimate, accompanying paleofauna and paleo flora). Then it discusses spatial-temporal distribution, paleo-geomorphic features and the paleo-ecological environment where these hominin sites are located to deduce the hominin survival behaviour. After a comprehensive analysis, we found that this batch of representative hominin sites centred on the Three Gorges area and spread around it. Their geographic location ranges from 25°N~40°N,101°E~118°E. They are all in the northern hemisphere's mid and low latitudes, situated in East China Monsoon Region. Most sites sit on the 2nd step staircase of China's terrain (one exception stands in the hilly region on the 3rd step). They share similar paleogeomorphic features that spread along basins’ edges, surrounded by mountains or hills, and next to lakes or rivers. The paleogeographic feature in common should be proximity to large water sources. Their paleovegetation characterizes a subtropical forest or an ecotone between temperate steppe and mixed broadleaf-conifer forest. All sites have unearthed abundant accompanying mammal fossils. That reflects a good palaeoecological environment which can provide hunting and gathering resources for the early-presence hominin. Furthermore, in this interval of prehistorical time, the active conduct of entering and exploiting the cave as living resources suggests that the early hominin had attempted to expand surviving space and improve living quality.

    Excavation/Investigation Reports
    An excavation report of the Dingmo site in Tiandong of Guangxi
    AI Lan, TIAN Chun, LI Dawei, LI Jinyan, WANG Wei
    2024, 43(02):  298-313.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0018
    Asbtract ( 140 )   HTML ( 39)   PDF (7515KB) ( 330 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    The Dingmo site is located in Bubing Basin, Tiandong County, Baise City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China. From 2010 to 2011, the Anthropology Museum of Guangxi and the Tiandong County Museum conducted a test-excavation at the Dingmo site, with a total area of 32 m2, and a total of 2108 stone artifacts were excavated and collected during this excavation. Besides, this excavation also yielded a few animal fossils. The Dingmo lithic assemblage consists of ground stone tools and cores, retouched tools, flakes, spilt flakes, chunks fragments and manuports. The majority of the retouched tools were chipped stone tools and the types of them are diverse, including choppers, scrapers, denticulates, notches and the tools’ blanks were mainly cobbles and flakes. Based on our raw material investigation, the utilized cobbles and pebbles at this site were most possibly collected from the nearby Youjiang River, sandstone-dominated. Freehand hard hammer percussion was exclusively used for core reduction, and the cores in this site appear to be simply worked and expedient. No preparations for the cores’ morphology and platforms were found among the core specimens excavated at the site. Additionally, the flakes predominantly exhibit simple morphologies and platform characteristics. The age of the site is dated to 16000~5000 BP cal using AMS 14C method. This finding add new materials for exploring the Paleolithic to Neolithic culture during Terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene in Bose region. Through the comparative analysis of sites within the basin, the Dingmo site exhibits both distinctions and connections with them. Most crucially, it demonstrates certain technological differences when compared with the Zhongshan Rockshelter, which is also located within the Bubin Basin and shares chronological overlap. This implies the existence of regional technological variations within the basin. Furthermore, in comparison with contemporary sites in South China and the Yungui Plateau, Dingmo site displays both technological affinities and disparities. These observed connections and differences serve as essential reference materials for further discussions on the diversity of lithic technology across regions.This preliminary study provides new clues for investigating the evolution of Late Pleistocene lithic technology in South China and Southeast Asia.

    A preliminary report of the excavation of Chaoyang Cave 2 in Jizhou County, Tianjin City
    WEI Tianxu, WANG Chunxue, ZHANG Xuewei, WANG Jiaqi, SHENG Lishuang
    2024, 43(02):  314-320.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2024.0015
    Asbtract ( 113 )   HTML ( 39)   PDF (2394KB) ( 148 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Jizhou District, located in the northern part of Tianjin, contains all the Paleolithic sites found in Tianjin, which is of vital importance for research on ancient human activity in the region, so it can be called as the cradle of Paleolithic archaeology in Tianjin. In May 2015, an archaeological survey of Paleolithic sites in Jizhou, Tianjin was conducted by a team led by the Protection Center of Cultural Heritage in Tianjin and School of Archaeology Jilin University.More than ten open-air Paleolithic site was newly discovered in this survey. The Chaoyang Cave site, sitting in the northern mountainous region of Jizhou District, was discovered during this survey and was formally excavated from July to September 2019, making it the first excavated Paleolithic cave site in Tianjin. The site consists of Cave 1 and Cave 2, with pottery, stone artifacts and animal fossils unearthed from Cave 1 and stone artifacts unearthed from Cave 2. This article only studies the stone artifacts unearthed from Cave 2.The cultural deposits is about 4 m thick. The stratigraphy of the site consisted of 4 layers (from top to bottom): Layer 1, humus soil layer(containing angular gravel); Layer 2, Clay layer(containing angular gravel); Layer 3, cultural deposits including artifacts; and Layer 4, bedrock (limestone). Stone artifacts from Cave 2 were excavated form Layer 3. A total of 66 stone artifacts were collected from deposits and include flakes and retouched tools. Raw materials were mainly High-quality flint, probably selected from river gravels. Flakes were generally micro to small in size. Hard-hammer percussion was more common than bipolar percussion. The type of tools is simple, including only scrapers and notch, whereas most of their blanks are flakes. Technological analysis suggests that flake-tool production system based mainly on small flake blanked scrapers. The small number of stone artifacts at the site, including only stone flakes and a very small number of retouched tools, and the absence of other types of relics, suggest that Chaoyang Cave 2 was a temporary camp. The dating results of Cave 2 are not yet available but based on the analysis of the stone artifacts and sediments, together with comparative studies with other Paleolithic sites and localities in Tianjin, it is assumed that the date could be not later than the Upper Paleolithic. Research on the Chaoyang Cave site is important for exploring the relationship between different stone-tool industries in Tianjin, improving the chronological sequence of the Paleolithic and revealing early human behaviors in the area.

    Preliminary report on Paleolithic archaeological surveys in Lingbao, central China
    ZHAO Qingpo, MA Huanhuan
    2024, 43(02):  321-330.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0067
    Asbtract ( 130 )   HTML ( 36)   PDF (6658KB) ( 164 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Since 2016, several seasons of Paleolithic archaeological surveys in Sanmenxia region, Henan Province, central China have been conducted by a couple of institutes including Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP, CAS), the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Shandong University and etc. Eight new Paleolithic open-air sites around Zhaikou Reservoir in the middle reach of Hongnongjianhe River within Lingbao Basin were identified from the surveys. 74 lithic artifacts and some fauna fossils were discovered, 47 of which were found in Loess-Palaeosol deposits in the L11, S10, L9, S8 and S5 as well as fluvial deposits, while the rest 27 were collected from the surface near the sections. Paleomagnetic measurements of Caocun Section and Huixinggou Section in Sanmenxia Region demonstrate that the date of L11-S5 ranges from about 0.99 MaBP to 0.48 MaBP. This indicates that stone artifacts uncovered from those deposits are probably dated back to the late early Pleistocene to the middle Pleistocene.

    Stone artifacts include cores, flakes, retouched tools, chunks and manuports. The principal raw material is quartzite, followed by vein quartz, quartzite sandstone, chert and so on. All the cores are hard-hammer percussion cores, most of which are single-platform cores. There are also double-platform cores, multi-platform cores and unifacial discoid cores. The majority of the cores suggest a relatively low utilization rate of the blanks, while the discovery of discoid core might show the existence of centripetal flaking strategy in this area. The utilized principal flake knapping method involves the use of a direct hard-hammer percussion with some bipolar technique and projectile percussion. Retouched tools comprise scrapers, choppers, denticulate, handaxe-like tool and notch. Most of them are light-duty tools made on flakes. The handaxe-like tool is similar to those from Shuigou-Huixinggou site in Shanmenxia, indicating a possible existence of Acheulean tradition in Lingbao Basin. Considering lithic technology and typology of the assemblage, it's safe to conclude that there is mainly a core-flake industry, which was widespread in North and Central China during late Early to Middle Pleistocene.

    The results of investigations are of great significance for understanding the lithic technology in Lingbao Basin during late early to middle Pleistocene, further expanding the timing and space of Paleolithic artifacts distribution in this area, and also showing great potential for research on the evolution and occupation of early hominin in this area

    Analysis methods on Paleolithic age archaeological remains of ochre using
    XU Jingwen, HUAN Faxiang, YANG Shixia
    2024, 43(02):  331-343.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0061
    Asbtract ( 137 )   HTML ( 49)   PDF (2023KB) ( 244 )  
    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Ochre is one of the most common mineral pigments in archaeological studies. The current archaeological evidence suggests that the use of ochre became more common since 100 ka years ago, which was important for human adaptation to the more drastic environmental changes and the continuous interaction of social culture network. Recently, more and more archaeological remains related to ochre-using have been unearthed and identified in China, however, the research work needs to be further developed. Therefore, how to make comprehensive use of various test schemes to deeply explore the development pattern and ethnological significance of human behavior indicated by the ochre pigment needs us to make a systematic summary. In this paper, referring to the international studies in the fields of archaeology, geophysics and chemistry, ethnology and so on, we concluded the main parts of paleolithic age archaeological ochre analysis asthe qualitative chemical composition, analysis of provenance, and operational technology. The multidisciplinary comprehensive analysis on archaeological remains of ochre using is a potential research field, hitherto, the examples of domestic ochre using is still limited.

    Research progress and prospect of the ancient dental calculus residue
    TAO Dawei, ZOU Huilin
    2024, 43(02):  344-354.  doi:10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2023.0055
    Asbtract ( 152 )   HTML ( 32)   PDF (578KB) ( 226 )  
    References | Related Articles | Metrics

    Dental calculus is essentially a mineralized or fully mineralized dental plaque, which provides a new avenue for archaeological research due to its characteristics of easy preservation, accessibility and non-pollution. The highly mineralized nature enables itself to be well preserved for a long time, and also provides a good storage medium for various residues trapped in dental calculus. Consequently, extraction and analysis of residues from dental calculus becomes feasible. Since the analysis of dental calculus was used in archaeological research in the 1960s, residue analysis on ancient dental calculus has been carried out for more than 60 years. Along with more analysis methods applied to dental calculus, many important progresses have been made. In summary, the residue analysis on ancient dental calculus focus on the dental calculus attached on the surfaces of human or animal teeth unearthed from archaeological sites. Using multidisciplinary analysis methods such as including plant microfossil, stable isotope, palaeomicrobiology, ancient DNA and so on, various types of residues entrapped in dental calculus are extracted, and the properties, sources, and types of these residues are identified and analyzed, revealing the dietary sources of ancient humans and animals, which can reflect the economic activitieand social conditions.

    As of December 2022, at least 147 research papers on the residue analysis of ancient dental calculus have been published both domestically and internationally (excluding 12 master's and doctoral theses), including 121 from abroad and 26 from domestically, which indicate that the residue analysis on ancient dental calculus has gradually become an effective way to explore the economic and social conditions. This paper systematically combs the research progress of residue analysis on ancient dental calculus from four aspects: Elaborated dietary construction of human, development and spread of early agriculture, East-West resource exchange and consumption, and utilization of specific resources, and reveals its important value in archaeological research, and looks forward to the application of residue analysis on ancient dental calculus in archaeological research in China. More analytical methods such as organic residues should be applied in ancient dental calculus analysis in China, which can maximize the extraction of residues from ancient dental calculus and help to expanding research fields to animal husbandry by-products, consumption and utilization of specific resources, etc. As a common and easily accessible biological remains, ancient dental calculus might become a routine object in bioarchaeological research, and residue analysis of ancient dental calculus is expected to become a new academic growth point in the field of bioarchaeology in China.