A REVIEW AND PROSPECT OF CHRONOLOGICAL STUDIES FOR PALAEOLITHLC ARCHAEOLOGY IN CHINA
It is of extreme importance for palaeolithic and palaeoanthropologic studio to establish a reliable absolute chronology. The strata where fossil men or stone tools are buried are usually formed by natural forces The sedimentation precesses might have continued for quite a long time, and the strata themselves might later have been eroded or reworked. In addition to the complexity of the stratigraphical relations between archaeological remains and geological deposits, the available dating methods for Quaternary chronology are not as ideal and perfect as radiocarbon dating, which leads to great difficulty to get accurate and reliable dates for palaeolithic remains. Therefore one should refer to published dates critically and a close collaboration between archaeologists and dating laboratory workers must be emphasized. This paper gives a comprehensive analysis of various dating methods in terms of their applicability to different circumstances, their accuracy and precision as well as their weaknesses. The author shows the advantages of uranium-series dating method which is quite promising for dating palaeolithic localities younger than 350 ka. Based on the results of chronolgical studies in the past decades, an absolute chronological sequence is suggested for more than 30 important palaeolithic and palaeoanthropologic localities discovered in China.