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Title: Middle Pleistocene hominin occupation in the Danjiangkou Reservoir Region, Central China: studies of formation processes and stone technology of Maling 2A site
Authors: Pei, Shuwen
Niu, Dongwei
Guan, Ying
Nian, Xiaomei
Yi, Mingjie
Ma, Ning
Li, Xiaoli
Sahnouni, Mohamed
Keywords: Maling locality 2A (ML2A);Late Middle Pleistocene;Site formation processes;Mode 2 technology;Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR);Central China
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2015, 53, 391-407
Abstract: Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR) is one of the areas where Acheulean-like stone technology (Mode 2) was reported in central and south China. It is located at the end of the upper reaches of the Hanshui River (the largest tributary of the Yangtze River). Systematic field investigations documented more than ninety Paleolithic sites along the fluvial terraces of the Hanshui and Danjiang Rivers (the latter a tributary of the upper reach of the Hanshui River). Subsequent excavations at more than 30 sites led to the discovery of a large number of Paleolithic stone artifacts in the past decade, showing that early hominins lived in the region at least by the early part of the Middle Pleistocene. However, little is known from the archaeological record about the context of the sites and their formation processes, the technological characteristics of the stone artifact assemblages, and whether they truly belong to Mode 2 technology or just to core and flake technology, and the overall hominin behavioral patterns and adaptation during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. Maling locality 2A (ML2A) is buried in the front edge of the third alluvial terrace of the Danjiang River. Archaeological excavations, undertaken at the site in 2011, recovered 1026 stone artifacts from a red clay deposit. Preliminary OSL dating and geomorphological comparisons between the terraces in the Hanshui River system suggest that the site is dated to the late Middle Pleistocene. Patterns of artifact concentration suggest that the site was buried in secondary context where the stone artifacts were transported by water from a relatively higher location nearby. The artifacts, primarily made on quartzite and quartz cobbles, include cores, whole flakes, various fragments, retouched pieces, two bifaces and a hammerstone. All flaking is by direct hard hammer without core preparation. The majority of flakes in the early stages of core reduction indicate that the cores are not extensively reduced. Choppers are the predominant core category, together with discoids, polyhedrons, and core scrapers. It should be noted that two bifacially flaked cobbles can classed as mode 2 implements. Eleven retouched pieces are recognized, and they were casually modified by direct hammer percussion. Although only two bifaces were excavated from this site, many more are recorded in the larger study area. The ML2A artifact assemblage may be considered as a Chinese variant of an Acheulean-like (Mode 2) industry. It can be deduced that Homo erectus was likely the responsible for manufacturing the stone artifacts.
ISSN: 0305-4403
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.10.022
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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