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《Journal of Stratigraphy》 2001-02
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U-SERIES DATING OF BAILIANDONG SITE IN LIUZHOU, GUANGXI, SOUTH CHINA

SHEN Guan jun 1) , WANG Jia qi 2) , XU Bi xue 2) , KUANG Yun 2) , and ZHAO Jian xin 3) ( 1)Institute for Coastal and Quaternary Studies, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, 210097; 2)Department of Chemistry, Guizhou Univer  
Bailingdong cave, located in the southern suburb of Liuzhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, South China, is one of the few sites in China with continuous records of the Paleolithic Mesolithic Neolithic transition. Systematic excavations since 1973 have led to the discovery of 2 hominid teeth assigned to late Homo sapiens, mammalian fossils representing about 30 species and more than 500 stone artifacts. Two sets of deposits occur at the eastern and western sides of the cave, respectively. The former can be divided into 8 layers, and the latter into 10. The East Layers 1—3 correspond to early and middle Neolithic, the West Layers 4—7 to late Paleolithic and the East Layers 4—6 to Mesolithic. The “Big Flowstone” marking the boundary of Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods correlates the East Layer 7 and the upper part of the West Layer 4. The hominid fossil teeth were recovered from the West Layer 7 (Fig.1). Previous age determination using conventional 14 C dating of cave calcites and freshwater shells, AMS 14 C dating of charcoal grains and freshwater shells and U series dating of fossil materials confines the entire depositional column within a time range between 37 and 7ka, with the end of the Paleolithic period at 20ka±, and the beginning of the Neolithic at 12ka±.In this study, we have carried out U series dating on intercalated speleothem formations. The results show that the “Big Flowstone” is of an age of 15ka±, which is 5ka± younger than 14 C dating, the difference being indicative of the “dead carbon” interference. The duration of Mesolithic time should thus be less than 3ka±. Our results also indicate that the cave's lower strata encompass much greater a time span than defined by 14 C results, and the “Bailiandong style flaking technique” evolved over at least 150ka. The flowstone of the West Layer 6 and a coeval stalagmite are 160ka± old, marking the minimum age of the hominid teeth. The backdating of the cave's lower strata may imply an early presence of modern H. sapiens in southern China. However, at Bailiandong the hominid is represented only through isolated teeth, so its exact phylogenetic position can hardly be assured. Nevertheless, parallel studies on near by Liujiang and Tubo hominid sites came out in support of the results given here. Taken together, the appearance of modern H. sapiens in China may be an event much earlier than previously accepted.
【Fund】: 美国 Leakey Foundation和 Wenner-Gren Founda-tion!(Gr.6 5 0 1)联合资助
【CateGory Index】: P534.63
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