Asian Perspectives, 2004 - Volume 43, Number 2 (Fall)

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Asian Perspectives is the leading peer-reviewed archaeological journal devoted to the prehistory of Asia and the Pacific region. In addition to archaeology, it features articles and book reviews on ethnoarchaeology, palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology, and ethnography of interest and use to the prehistorian. International specialists contribute regional reports summarizing current research and fieldwork, and present topical reports of significant sites. Occasional special issues focus on single topics.

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Center for South Asian Studies
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Now showing 1 - 5 of 12
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    Taxonomic Abundance at Panxian Dadong, a Middle Pleistocene Cave in South China
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2004) Bekken, Deborah ; Schepartz, Lynne A. ; Miller-Antonio, Sari ; Yamei, Hou ; Weiwen, Huang
    The faunal assemblage from the site of Panxian Dadong provides evidence for a general continuity in species representation throughout a period of approximately 120 kya. Taxonomically, faunal material from Dadong includes classic taxa of the Middle Pleistocene Ailuropoda-Stegodon faunal complex of South China. Taxonomic abundance measures document a sample that is rich in large ungulate species including rhinoceros, stegodonts, and large bovids. These data are further examined in light of assemblage formation processes, temporal distribution, and environmental context. Taphonomic data that demonstrate the presence and activities of bonecollecting species (including porcupines, hominids, and large and small carnivores) suggest that Dadong Cave was an attractive shelter that saw many uses during the period analyzed. These include hominid foraging, porcupine bone collecting, and carnivore scavenging and hunting. KEYWORDS: Middle Pleistocene, South China, Ailuropoda-Stegodon fauna, hominid.
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    Lithic Raw Material Use at the Late Middle Pleistocene Site of Panxian Dadong
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2004) Miller-Antonio, Sari ; Schepartz, Lynne A. ; Karkanas, Panagiotis ; Yamei, Hou ; Weiwen, Huang ; Bekken, Deborah
    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. KEYWORDS: Middle Pleistocene, lithics, reduction sequence, hominid.
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    Panxian Dadong, South China: Establishing a Record of Middle Pleistocene Climatic Changes
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2004) Wei, Wang ; Jun, Liu ; Yamei, Hou ; Xinqiang, Si ; Weiwen, Huang ; Schepartz, Lynne A. ; Miller-Antonio, Sari
    Broad-based reconstructions of the Middle Pleistocene Asian environment are valuable sources of information that can augment our understanding of prehistoric human adaptations and expansion into East Asia. The sediments, speleothems, and geochronology of Panxian Dadong Cave serve as an example of the possible integration of this broader paleoenvironmental information with more fine-grained archaeological data. The current U-series and ESR dating results for Dadong suggest that the early human activity in the cave began at least 260 kya and continued until around 142 kya. This period correlates with Oxygen Isotope Stages 7 through 6. The lower part of the breccia (Layer 2) contains very strongly weathered dark deposits, suggesting a relatively warm climatic period from 260-180 kya that corresponds to OIS 7, followed by a cooler phase with less speleothem formation corresponding to OIS 6. The Middle Pleistocene stratigraphic sequence in the Dadong cave deposits documents fluctuating and rapid changes in temperature and humidity that are also detected in general Asian, as well as South China, paleoclimatic studies based on diverse data ranging from microstratigraphic and geochemical sediment analyses to mollusk species representation. KEYWORDS: Middle Pleistocene, Asian paleoenvironment, stratigraphy, speleothem, Panxian Dadong, China.
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    Lithic Technological Variability of the Middle Pleistocene in the Eastern Nihewan Basin, Northern China
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2004) Shen, Chen ; Qi, Wei
    Previous studies have generalized the technological character of the Lower Paleolithic of China with reference to its non-Acheulean features, but regional perspectives on technological variability were largely overlooked. This study examines two lithic assemblages from Middle Pleistocene sites in the Nihewan Basin in northern China: Cenjiawan and Maliang. Through applications of refitting analysis, technological analysis, and use-wear examinations, technological variability within these assemblages is assessed. The results reveal some aspects of lithic technology that were largely undocumented in Lower Paleolithic industries, such as intentional selection of high-quality raw materials, continuously rotating core reduction, and evidence for butchering/meat-processing tool use, suggesting that the Cenjiawan and Maliang lithic assemblages might represent regional and/or temporal variations of Lower Paleolithic industries in northern China. The data are compared to other Lower Paleolithic industries such as Xiaochangliang, Dongguotou, and Zhoukoudian (Localities 1 and 15). KEYWORDS: Lower Paleolithic, lithic technology, core reduction, refitting, use-wear.
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