The Origins of Modern Human Behavior in China: Archaeological Evidence from Shuidonggou Locality 7


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Study and Research Fellowships (East and Southeast Asia)




The Stone Age Institute and Indiana University


Shuidonggou is known as one of crucial early Upper Paleolithic sites in China. Shuidonggou Locality 7, situated in the central area of the site, is located on the left bank of Biangou River. The locality was excavated in three field excavation seasons from 2003 to 2005, exposing an area of 25 m2. A large number of lithic artifacts, more than 200 fossil fragments and 2 ornaments were unearthed. Preliminary dating indicates that the human activities at the locality took place in the Late Pleistocene (ca. 27-25 ka). The Shuidonggou locality 7 documents human behavioral and adaptation between 30,000 and 24,000 years ago, during a favorable climatic period in late Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3). This project will involve a comprehensive study on the stone artifacts (N=12,459). Major research methods employed in the research include raw material study, debitage analysis and stone tool manufacture experiments. The study will be integrated with the research of site formation process, zooarchaeology and usewear, helping the research team to interpret the site formation process and human adaptations to the surrounding environment, as well as the possibility of technical exchange between west and east. In this way, the project will contribute to research on the origin, migration and technical development of modern humans in China during late MIS 3. Lithic analysis (raw material, debitage and experiment) is well-developed in North America, but not in China. In this project, I intend to