New paleolithic site found in Tianjin, China

March 13, 2013
Fig.1: Stone artifacts from the Taiziling Paleolithic locality. 1, 2, 7, Scraper; 3, 10-12, Broken flake; 4-6, 13, Complete flake; 8, Cylindrical microblade core; 9, Semi-conical microblade core; 14, Point. Credit: WANG Chunxue

A joint team of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Preservation Center of Cultural Heritage in Tianjin found a new paleolithic site at the Sungezhuang village, Jixian County, Tianjin City, China in April 2005, and a total of 58 stone artifacts were unearthed. Researchers reported their findings in the latest issue of Acta Anthropologica Sinica 2013 (1).

The new paleolithic site was buried in the second terrace near the Prince Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty, and was named the Taiziling Paleolithic locality. Three stratigraphic layers of the second terrace were identified at this locality with a total thickness of more than 1 m. Archaeological materials were mainly collected from the 2nd layer, a light yellow silt with gravels 0.3-0.5 m in thickness.

The stone assemblage includes cores (n=5), flakes (n=42), chunks (n=5) and retouched tools (n=6). Lithic raw materials exploited at the locality were locally available from ancient riverbeds, with chert being the predominant raw material (72.5%). The principal flaking technique was direct hammer percussion with core preparation, especially for microblade cores. Most were standardized in shape, finely retouched and small in size, and most tool blanks were flakes. Only three retouched tool types were identified: scrapers, points and picks. Modified tools appear to be retouched by hammer percussion and pressure techniques, with tools retouched primarily on the dorsal surface.

New paleolithic site found in Tianjin, China
Fig.2: Flake core and pick from the Taiziling Paleolithic locality. Credit: WANG Chunxue

"It can be inferred from these materials that this stone assemblage shows a close relationship with the Flake Tool Industry (Main Industry) in North China, but bears some characteristics of the Microblade Industry there", said coauthor SHENG Lishuang, an archaeologist at the Preservation Center of in Tianjin.

Geomorphological and chronological comparison within Jixian County indicates a Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene date.

"The Taiziling locality provides important data for the study of human adaptive strategies and patterns in this region, and offers evidence for the study of lithic techniques in the /Early Holocene in North China as well as the cultural relationship between northern and northeastern China during the Pleistocene", said first author Dr. WANG Chunxue of the IVPP.

Explore further: New Paleolithic remains found near the Liuhuaishan site in Bose Basin, Guangxi

More information:

Related Stories

New Paleolithic site in Gansu Province

September 10, 2012

A joint team of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Gansu Provincial Institute of Archaeology found a new paleolithic site at Xujiacheng village, Wanquan ...

Recommended for you

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

November 24, 2015

Many animals exhibit learned behaviors, but humans are unique in their capacity to build on existing knowledge to make new innovations. Understanding the patterns of how new generations of tools emerged in prehistoric societies, ...

How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles

November 19, 2015

(—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property ...

First Londoners were multi-ethnic mix: museum

November 23, 2015

A DNA analysis of four ancient Roman skeletons found in London shows the first inhabitants of the city were a multi-ethnic mix similar to contemporary Londoners, the Museum of London said on Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.