Radiocarbon dating and the prehistoric archaeology of china

The small collection of lithic artifacts recovered was recently recorded and found to reflect the same tool categories, dominated by core-choppers and retouched flakes, known from the first excavations.A few bone and shell tools were reported previously (16).While similarly well-preserved Late Pleistocene cave sites are found in other regions of the world, the cave sites in this region of South China (as well as several sites in neighboring Japan and the Russian Far East) are unique due to the presence of ceramic vessels in their otherwise Late Paleolithic assemblages.

First, the complex deposition of interdigitating lenses of ashes, clays, and sometimes fine gravel requires systematic dating based on a series of radiocarbon determinations and this has been lacking.Many of these studies do not report a systematic analysis of the ages of the strata within the site, especially those containing the potsherds.Here we date the stratigraphic sequence deposited in Yuchanyan Cave, paying particular attention to the strata in close proximity to the potsherds.Yuchanyan Cave in Daoxian County, Hunan Province (People's Republic of China), yielded fragmentary remains of 2 or more ceramic vessels, in addition to large amounts of ash, a rich animal bone assemblage, cobble and flake artifacts, bone tools, and shell tools.The artifacts indicate that the cave was a Late Paleolithic foragers' camp.

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