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Title   Lithic miniaturization and hafted tools in early Late Pleistocene Salawusu, North China
Authors   Nai-Ru Lin
Corresponding Author  
Year   2023
Title of Journal   Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Abstract   Since its discovery in the 1920s, Salawusu (Sjara-osso-gol), located on the southern edge of the Mongolian Plateau, has been one of the most important Paleolithic findings in East Asia. Unfortunately, because of the miniaturized sizes of the Salawusu artifacts that have traditionally been considered too small to study, little has been known about the lithic technology and tool making skills of these hominins. Here we reexamined the lithic assemblage from the Fanjiagouwan Locality at Salawusu, that has been tentatively dated by Optically Stimulated Luminescence to between 100 ka and 90 ka, to identify hominin activities during Marine Isotope Stage 5 that appear to be specific to this spatial–temporal facie. We analyzed the artifacts at higher magnification and 3D scans to overcome the difficulties of “reading” the reduction traces left on these miniature sized lithics. We also conducted a microwear analysis in addition to a standard techno-typological study. It is quite evident that advanced reduction techniques were applied in the reduction of the miniaturized lithics, and evidence of hafting and composite tools are present as well. These latter observations reveal important features of the Salawusu lithic assemblage. These hominin behaviors are likely directly related to raw material constraints in the region that forced these hominins to get as much as possible out of these small cores. It is possible this technology originated in the Salawusu area and then later spread across northern China, Korea, and Japan during the Late Pleistocene. Given the age of the Fanjiagouwan deposits, it is unclear, at this time, exactly who these stone knappers were.
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Full Text Link   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X23000068https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X23000068