Abstract

The possibility of selective use of lithic raw material in the Middle Pleistocene cave deposits of Panxian Dadong is examined in order to evaluate hominid strategies of resource management. Limestone, chert, and basalt, available in or nearby the cave, were differentially used for the production of tools and unretouched flakes. Limestone was predominantly used to produce expedient tools, unretouched flakes were most commonly made of basalt, and chert was most frequently used to produce retouched flakes and tools. Patterns in the reduction sequence for each raw material also indicate that these lithic resources were selectively used. The early stages of core reduction are clearly represented in basalt flakes, whereas chert artifacts exhibit the later stages of tool production and the greatest degree of resharpening. When the selection of raw material is examined through time, over a span of more than 100,000 years, two patterns are clear. The proportion of chert and basalt and the overall frequency of artifacts increases. These changes in the frequency and selection of raw material occur without a techno-typological change. The major shifts in raw material usage correlate with a colder climatic regime and may relate to the intensified use of the cave for animal carcass processing and shelter.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 314-332
Launched on MUSE
2004-10-28
Open Access
No
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