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Microblade Industries and the Terminal Pleistocene Human Dispersals in Nihewan Basin , North China
Yue Feng  1, *  
1 : School of Archaeology and Museuology, Peking University  (PKU)  -  Website
No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China. 100871 -  Chine
* : Corresponding author

Located in north Central China, Nihewan Basin preserved a well-established sequence of human occupation through early Pleistocene to Holocene, and during Upper Paleolithic most of the microblade sites are situated along the Sanggan River. The site of Youfang indicated that microblades first showed up in the basin before 25 ka B.P. together with blades, and it was followed by a period characterized by boat-shaped cores and a complex featured with relatively high portion of burins around 18 ka B.P., leaving evidence at the site of Erdaoliang. Around 17-15 ka B.P., a new group of highly mobile hunters came with wedge-shape cores and Yubetsu technique. Their tool kits were dominated by side-scrapers, but typical Upper Paleolithic tools like end-scraper, burins and backed-knives also made up an important part of the whole assemblage, meanwhile bifaces, projectile points and stemmed tools appeared in this area for the first time. Analysis of the sites of Hutouliang, Ma'anshan and Yujiagou suggested that they occupied the river side in a very organized way, but later replaced by other groups with conical cores, ground stones and pottery. Their short appearance in the Nihewan Basin suggested that the dispersals of people in Northeast Asia during terminal Pleistocene might be multidirectional, which could provide a broader view on the peopling of the New World. Why they came and left Nihewan is still under heated debates, but the rapid change of environment during this period, poor quality of local raw material and regional cultural diversity may shed some lights on this question.

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