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3 June 2013
Early Palaeolithic sites in Northern China

The Danjiangkou area is a pivotal region for human migration and cultural communication between south and north China. The discovery of hominid fossils and abundant Palaeolithic sites highlight its significant position in the Paleoanthropology and Palaeolithic archaeology of China.
     In 1994 and 2004, Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted two surveys around the margin of the Danjiangkou reservoir in the northwest of Hubei Province, and found 91 Palaeolithic open-air sites on different terraces along the Hanshui River and its tributary Danjiang River. In 2009 researchers carried out an excavation in the Guochachang 2 site, exposing an area of 500 square metres and uncovering 132 stone artefacts. These included hammer stones, cores, flakes, and chunks, as well as scrapers, choppers, picks, and hand axes. Analysis of the stone reveals that raw materials were locally available from ancient river gravels.
     "The study on the Guochachang 2 site provides us very important data for understanding the early Palaeolithic culture in the Danjiangkou Reservoir area," said project leader LI Chaorong.

Edited from PhysOrg (29 May 2013)

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