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ON PALEOLITHIC CULTURE OF TONGLIAN COUNTY

Li Xuanmin (Chongqing Museum) Zhang Shenshui (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology. Academia Sinica)  
In building the foundation for a reservoir in the western suburb of Tong-Iian county, Si-chuan province, in summer 1976, the workers, the peasants and we there discovered numerous mammalian fossils, the plant fossils and more than 300 pieces of artifacts in the sand layer about 8 meters below the land surface. C~(14) tests on some plant fossils associated with the artifacts and the mammalian fossils show that they date back to 21550±310 or 25450±850 B.P.The present paper deals with a brief study of the artifacts in situ. The study of plants and mammalian forssils in the locality and stratigraphy nearby will be given by us in other paper.Most of the artifacts are made of quartzite and a few of them are made of other kinds of stones such as flint (12.4%), diorite, quartzone stone, quatzine, sandstone and hornfel, etc., most of the raw materials were collected from second terrace on the Fu River which is 20 kilometers away from the locality. Cores: There are 49 cores which were subdivided into three types: sing'e striking platform. double striking platform and polyhedral nucleus, The cores were almost unprepared, except a few specimens. Angles between striking platform and worked surface are 60°—94°. The cores on which the flake scars are unequal are variable in size (24—83 mm. in length) and irregular in form.Flakes: There are 32 pieces of flakes, 23 of them were produced by hammering method. Those flakes have small striking platform and variable angles between the striking platform and main flake surface (95°—132°), other flakes were made by knoking a piece of stone on a stone anvil to get a flake with large and oblique striking platform and main flake surface. Those flakes are larger and the width, most of them are widther than length in size.Scrapers: 114 specimens are scrapers, which were mostly made of the flakes and pieces or small broken stone. They are smaller implements (30—60 mm. in length) which were roughly retouched on the, opposite surface of the main flake surface and on the two surface by complex trimming. The scrapers may be subdivided into following types: single straight scrapers (14 specimens), single convex scrapers (27 specimens), single concave scrapers (13 specimens), double scrapers (23 specimens), complex scrapers (22 specimens) and end scrapers (15 specimens). A concave scraper (PI. Ⅱ, 6; Pig. 2) has a micro-blade scar near its top similar to that of plane graver, but typical graver is absent in our materials collected in situ.Points: They are smaller tools amounting to 33 pieces. The majority were made of the flakes. Besides two specimens which have two pointed ends, the others have only one. The points where the two adjacent edges were retouched a sharp angle or an obtuse angle were chipped on a surface or both. The heels of the points were not prepared and usually are irregular in shape.Choppers (contain chopping tools) : The choppers are 73 pieces and large in size (with a biggest one 231mm. in length). They were made of the pebbles, the cores and the thick flakes, most of them were flaked bifacially and very roughly. The choppers may be subdivided into nine types: single side edge, double edge, complex edge, discal. adze (cleave), pointed choppers and end choppers A, B, C. Two choppers made of the pebble were retouched by anvil process, and other tools were chipped by direct hammering. Other two specimens of the pointed choppers made of a pebble and a thick flake by retouching the two adjacent borders are larger and triangular in transverse section and are similar to those of named as "Tingtsun point". The end choppers were retouched on the opposite end of the striking platform by complex trimming. The end choppers A were chipped the end but there are no flake scar on the both sides. The end choppers B were flaked on one end and one side only. The end choppersc were chipped on an end with retouched two sides. All choppers were retouched very roughly with sigmoid end or side.From the facts mentioned above, the following points may be noted:1. Cultural age of this localityJudging from the C~(14) date and the study of the stratigraphy and mammalian fossils, Tong-lian palaeolithic locality is dated as the late palaeolithic age, or geological- ly middle stage of late pleistocene.2. General character of the industry1) The cores and flakes are more primitive in shape, the local side of the flakes were chipped, but it is not trimming for the edge.2) Complex retouch by which the tools appear in 43.6% of the total implements is worked main fashion in the tools.3) Only three type of tools were found so far in this locality and they were retouched roughly.4) In comparison with contemporaneous industries, the choppers occupied a larger proportion of the total tools (about 30%), but small tools (less than 40mm. in length) are rather counting about 11% than big ones.5) One-third of the choppers are the end choppers which are the highest proportion among the palaeolithic industry in China.6) The tools with single edge (28.2%) are rather than complex ones (71.8%).According to general industrial character mentioned above and in comparison with the artifacts of the same time in China, this industry represented a new local palaeolithic culture and is named as "Tong-lian Culture".The artifacts are so primitive, but its age is so late in the palaeolithic age. This fact makes the authors to consider whether an unequalibrium existed in the development of Chinese palaeolithic culture.
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