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

Nanjing Normal University, Nan-ching, Jiangsu Sheng, China
Journal of Archaeological Science (Impact Factor: 2.2). 12/2007; 34(12):2109-2114. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2007.02.008


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.

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    • "Other anatomically modern specimens from the region post-date Tam Pa Ling. For example, the cranio-dental fragments from Laibin, Southern China (Jia and Wu, 1959; Shen et al., 2007); the skeletal fragments from Tianyuan, Northern China (Tong et al., 2004; Shang and Trinkaus, 2010; Fu et al., 2013a); and the burials at Moh Khiew Cave, Thailand (Matsumura and Pookajorn, 2005) derive from contexts dated to between ~26 and 42 ka. "
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    • "). Problematic Liujiang aside, the fragmentary Laibing specimen, also from Guangxi Province, is dated to between 38,000 and 44,000 BP (Shen et al., 2007). Moving south, a range of other late Pleistocene specimens from Niah Cave in Malaysia (Brothwell, 1960; Kennedy, 1977; Barker et al., 2007), Tabon Cave in the Philippines (Macintosh, 1978; Dizon et al., 2002; D etroit et al., 2004), and Wajak in Indonesia (Dubois, 1922; Storm, 1995; Storm et al., 2013) have secure dates ranging from 40,000 to 16,000 BP. "
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    • "The rate adjusted from autosomal rates has inflated these time estimates by two-third as compared with pedigree rate. There are evidence for earliest modern human activities in Australia and neighboring New Guinea about 40 to 45 kya [23], in Southeast Asia about 37 to 38 kya [24], in China about 38 to 44 kya [25,26], and in Europe about 40 [27,28]. However, the time for Out-of-Africa migration estimated using rates obtained from human-chimpanzee comparisons are only 42.51 (95% CI: 40.96 to 43.98) and 35.50 (95% CI: 33.13 to 37.22) kya, which are smaller than the earliest archaeological evidence. "
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