November 30, 2023
Late Heart Pleistocene Levallois stone-tool expertise in southwest China
AbstractLevallois approaches are one of the best known variants of prepared-core technologies, and are an important hallmark of stone technologies developed around 300,000 years ago in Africa and west Eurasia1,2. Existing archaeological evidence suggests that the stone technology of east Asian hominins lacked a Levallois component during the late Middle Pleistocene epoch and it is…


Levallois approaches are one of many categorical known variants of ready-core applied sciences, and are an crucial hallmark of stone applied sciences developed around 300,000 years in the past in Africa and west Eurasia1,2. Present archaeological proof means that the stone expertise of east Asian hominins lacked a Levallois component at some stage in the late Heart Pleistocene epoch and it’s a ways rarely until the Late Pleistocene (around Forty,000–30,000 years in the past) that this expertise spread into east Asia in affiliation with a dispersal of unique humans. Right here we voice proof of Levallois expertise from the lithic assemblage of the Guanyindong Cave dwelling in southwest China, dated to roughly 170,000–Eighty,000 years in the past. To our data, this is the earliest proof of Levallois expertise in east Asia. Our findings thus subject the present mannequin of the origin and spread of Levallois applied sciences in east Asia and its hyperlinks to a Late Pleistocene dispersal of unique humans.

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                                    This work used to be supported by the Australian Be taught Council thru Future Fellowships to B.L. (FT140100384) and B.M. (FT140100101), a grant from the National Science Foundation of China to J.-F.Z. (NSFC, 41471003), postgraduate scholarships from the University of Wollongong to Y.H. and X.R. and the China Scholarship Council to X.R. (201506010345), the Chinese language Academy of Science (CAS) Strategic Precedence Be taught Program Grants of ‘Macroevolutionary Processes and Paleoenvironments of Major Historic Biota’ (XDPB05), Affirm Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, CAS (SKLLQG1501) and National Science Foundation of China (41272033) to Y.-M.H. We thank S. Lin for support with artefact diagnosis and treasured comments on the manuscript; Y.-M. Hou for support with CT scanning on stone artefacts; R. G. Roberts, Z. Jacobs, Y. Jafari and T. Lachlan for strengthen and support in the OSL laboratory; M. Otte and P. Zhang for treasured discussions on lithic assemblage; Y.-S. Lou, N. Ma, X.-W. Li and L. Lei for support with lithic observation.

                                    Reviewer data

                                    Nature thanks C. A. Tryon and the diversified anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the gaze review of this work.

                                    Creator data


                                    1. Centre for Archaeological Science, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Modern South Wales, Australia

                                      • Yue Hu
                                      • , Ben Marwick
                                      • , Xue Rui
                                      •  & Bo Li
                                    2. Division of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

                                      • Ben Marwick
                                    3. MOE Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Division of Geography, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China

                                      • Jia-Fu Zhang
                                    4. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese language Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

                                      • Ya-Mei Hou
                                      • , Jian-Ping Yue
                                      •  & Wei-Wen Huang
                                    5. CAS Centre for Excellence in Life and Paleo-ambiance, Beijing, China

                                      • Ya-Mei Hou
                                      •  & Jian-Ping Yue
                                    6. Qianxi County Bureau of Cultural Relics Safety, Bijie, China

                                      • Wen-Rong Chen
                                    7. ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Modern South Wales, Australia

                                      • Bo Li


                                    1. Be taught about Yue Hu in:

                                    2. Be taught about Ben Marwick in:

                                    3. Be taught about Jia-Fu Zhang in:

                                    4. Be taught about Xue Rui in:

                                    5. Be taught about Ya-Mei Hou in:

                                    6. Be taught about Jian-Ping Yue in:

                                    7. Be taught about Wen-Rong Chen in:

                                    8. Be taught about Wei-Wen Huang in:

                                    9. Be taught about Bo Li in:


                                    B.L., Y.H., W.-W.H. and J.-F.Z. conceived and coordinated the watch; Y.H., B.M. and J.-P.Y. conducted the stone artefact diagnosis; B.L., Y.H., J.-F.Z., W.-R.C., W.-W.H. and Y.-M.H. planned and directed field investigations and stratigraphic diagnosis. Y.H., B.L., J.-F.Z., X.R., W.-W.H. and Y.-M.H. amassed samples for dating; Y.H., B.L., J.-F.Z. and X.R. measured OSL samples and analysed the dating results; B.M., B.L. and Y.H. wrote the manuscript, with contributions from the diversified authors.

                                    Competing pursuits

                                    The authors advise no competing pursuits.

                                    Corresponding authors

                                    Correspondence to
                                    Ben Marwick or Bo Li.

                                    Extended data figures and tables

                                    1. Extended Data Fig. 1 Photos showing the landscape and region of the Guanyindong Cave.

                                      a, Southward discover of the Guanyindong Cave. b, The principle entrance of the cave.

                                    2. Extended Data Fig. 2 Opinion discover and stratigraphy of the Guanyindong Cave.

                                      a, Opinion discover of the cave, fundamental excavation home and the residual profiles from the south wall. The blue dots and the numbers subsequent to each and each of the dots describe the areas of U-assortment dating samples had been taken previously17 (ogle Supplementary Data for dialogue of the U-assortment results); sample codes from 1 to eight are QGC-19-1, QGC-19-2, QGC-Four, QGC-21, QGB-Four, QGC-7 and QGC-23, respectively. The green circles are the areas of profiles 1, 2a, 2b and three. The crimson squares indicate the areas of the residual profiles S1 and S2, where the OSL samples had been taken. b, Detail of the numbered stratigraphic layers at the predominant entrance of the cave. The stratigraphic layer numbers are shown in yellow circles. The crimson rectangles indicate the areas of the 2 south-wall sections (S1 and S2) where OSL samples had been taken. The areas of OSL samples are shown in crimson circles, with the sample code shown internal (as an illustration, number 1 represents GYD-OSL1; ogle Extended Data Figs. 3, Four for more tiny print). a, b, Photos had been adapted from a outdated watch16, copyright 1986.

                                    3. Extended Data Fig. 3 Total discover of the residual profile S1 from the cave entrance.

                                      a, Photo taken from the internal of the cave, showing the dwelling of the residual profile S1 at the south wall (marked by a rectangle with tiny print shown in b and c). b, Photo showing tiny print of the residual profile S1 at the south wall and the dwelling of all OSL samples from layer 1 and layers Four–eight. The predominant points of layers 3–9 at some stage in the yellow rectangle are shown in c. c, Photo showing the facts of sedimentary layers 3–9 of neighborhood B, and the dwelling of OSL samples. The stratigraphic layer numbers are shown in blue circles and the dwelling of OSL samples are marked by yellow circles with sample names shown subsequent to each and each of them. The dashed yellow traces in b and c indicate the boundaries between the layers.

                                    4. Extended Data Fig. Four Total discover of the residual profile S2 outside the cave entrance.

                                      a, Photo taken from high of the cave, showing the dwelling of the residual profile S2 (indicated by the rectangle). b, Photo taken from outside the cave, showing the dwelling of the residual profile S2 (indicated by the rectangle). c, Photo showing the facts of sedimentary layers (layer 2 and transformed layer 1) of residual profile S2, and the dwelling of OSL samples. The dashed yellow line reveals the boundary between layers 1 and a pair of. The stratigraphic layer numbers are shown in blue circles and the dwelling of OSL samples are marked by yellow circles with sample names shown subsequent to each and each of them.

                                    5. Extended Data Fig. 5 Photos of chosen Levallois cores.

                                      a, d, f, Levallois recurrent cores. b, c, e, Levallois preferential cores. The line drawings of these artefacts are shown in Fig. 3a–f. The artefacts shown in b and c had been recovered from neighborhood A.

                                    6. Extended Data Fig. 6 Photos of chosen Levallois flakes and tools.

                                      gokay, n, Levallois flakes. l, Débordant. m, Instruments made on Levallois blanks. o, p, Pseudo-Levallois aspects. The line drawings of these artefacts are shown in Fig. 3g–p.

                                    7. Extended Data Fig. 7 Photos of chosen Levallois tools and flakes with ready platform.

                                      qs, Instruments made on Levallois blanks. tz, Flakes with ready platforms. The line drawings of these artefacts are shown in Fig. 3q–z. The artefact shown in q used to be recovered from neighborhood A, and those shown in r and s had been from neighborhood B.

                                    8. Extended Data Fig. eight Distributions of metric variables on flakes.

                                      a, Histogram of flake lengths, colored by dimension class. b, Box-and-whisker plots of a different of metric variables to level technological variation across the scale courses to voice the lithic slit price sequence (n = 1,177 flakes). Centre traces indicate data median, bins indicate first and nil.33 quartiles (the twenty fifth and seventy fifth percentiles), and the whiskers lengthen from the upper and lower hinge to the largest and smallest values that are no extra than 1.5 times the interquartile differ from the hinge (which is the gap between the predominant and nil.33 quartiles). Data previous the tip of the whiskers are outlying aspects and are plotted individually. Linear dimensions are measured in mm, mass in g.

                                    9. Extended Data Fig. 9 Distributions of technological attributes of flakes across the five dimension courses.

                                      n = 1,177 flakes.

                                    10. Extended Data Fig. 10 Comparison of flakes from the upper (neighborhood A) and lower (neighborhood B) layers of the deposit (n = 204), with 117 pieces from the lower layers (dated to 170–a hundred sixty ka) and 87 from the upper layer (dated to roughly 90–Eighty ka).

                                      a, Metric variables. Linear dimensions are measured in mm, mass in g. b, Technological variables. Centre traces indicate data median, bins indicate first and nil.33 quartiles (the twenty fifth and seventy fifth percentiles), and the whiskers lengthen from the upper and lower hinge to the largest and smallest values no extra than 1.5 times the interquartile differ from the hinge. Data previous the tip of the whiskers are outlying aspects and are plotted individually.

                                    Supplementary data

                                    1. Supplementary Data

                                      This file accommodates Supplementary Discussions, Supplementary Tables 1-5, Supplementary Figures 1-24, References, and Supplementary Data.

                                    2. Reporting Summary

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