Mass spectrometric U-series dating of Laibin hominid site in Guangxi, southern China

College of Geographical Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, PR China
Journal of Archaeological Science (Impact Factor: 2.14). 12/2007; DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2007.02.008

ABSTRACT The Laibin hominid represents one of the rare finds of modern Homo sapiens in China, rare for its relative completeness and well-established stratigaphic provenance. This paper presents the results of mass spectrometric U-series dating of intercalated calcite samples from the Laibin site. The capping flowstone and the calcite vein, which sandwich the hominid fossil-containing deposits, date to 38.5 ± 1.0 and 44.0 ± 0.8 ka, setting respectively the minimum and maximum ages to the fossils. The second flowstone layer is 112.0 ± 1.4 ka old, indicating that the cultural sequence may possibly extend to somewhere between 44 and 112 ka. Securely dated Laibin finds should be of importance in reconstructing human physical and cultural evolution in the region.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article reviews the archaeology and chronology of the Chinese Upper Paleolithic and the human fossils attributed to this period. The onset of the Upper Paleolithic in China dates to ca. 35,000–30,000 years ago and is marked by the appearance of a few body decorations and well-shaped bone tools that were added to stone tool assemblages, including core-and-flake tools in North China and cobble tools in South China. The proliferation of blade assemblages in northwest China is interpreted as the cultural impact or the physical presence of bearers of blade industries from western Eurasia. The ensuing appearance of microblade assemblages in North China by 23,000–22,000 years ago reflects the use of local siliceous crystalline nodules by a population that recognized the advantages of this raw material. At that time in South China, prehistoric artisans continued to shape their stone objects from the available flat river cobbles. During the later part of the Chinese Upper Paleolithic (ca. 21,000–10,000 BP), foragers also made bone tools, antler objects, pottery, and shell tools, which laid the technological foundations for the early Neolithic period. One difficulty in this research is that human fossils are rare. Few are well dated and morphological, cultural, and biological interpretations are hotly debated. Our review attempts to facilitate the understanding of a poorly known period in Chinese archaeology and its place in human cultural evolution.
    Journal of Archaeological Research 03/2012; 21(1).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Y chromosome is a superb tool for inferring human evolution and recent demographic history from a paternal perspective. However, Y chromosomal substitution rates obtained using different modes of calibration vary considerably, and have produced disparate reconstructions of human history. Here, we discuss how substitution rate and date estimates are affected by the choice of different calibration points. We argue that most Y chromosomal substitution rates calculated to date have shortcomings, including a reliance on the ambiguous human-chimpanzee divergence time, insufficient sampling of deep-rooting pedigrees, and using inappropriate founding migrations, although the rates obtained from a single pedigree or calibrated with the peopling of the Americas seem plausible. We highlight the need for using more deep-rooting pedigrees and ancient genomes with reliable dates to improve the rate estimation.
    Investigative Genetics. 08/2014; 5(12).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The timing and the paths of colonization of southern Asia by Homo sapiens are poorly known, though many population geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and archaeologists have contended that this process began with dispersal from East Africa, and occurred between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. However, the evidence for this scenario is very weak, particularly the lack of human skeletal evidence between the Levant and Borneo before 40 ka, and other explanations are possible. Here we argue that environmental and archaeological information is increasingly indicating the likelihood that H. sapiens exited Africa much earlier than commonly thought, and may have colonized much of southern Asia well before 60,000 years ago. Additionally, we cannot exclude the possibility that several dispersal events occurred, from both North and East Africa, nor the likelihood that early populations of H. sapiens in southern Asia interbred with indigenous populations of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo erectus. The population history of southern Asia during the Upper Pleistocene is likely far more complex than currently envisaged.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 07/2012; 47:15–22. · 4.57 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014