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EXCAVATION REPORT ON A MESOLITHIC SITE AT LAYIHAI, UPPER YELLOW RIVER

Gai Pei (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Academia Sinica) Wang Kuodao (Archaeological Team of Qinghai Province)  
The site, reported here, excavated in 1980, is the first Mesolithic site fonnd in West China. The site is located in the region of Layihai, some 200 km southwest of Xining, the capital of Qinghai province. The cultural remains were found in the sediments of the second terrace of Yellow River. A radiocarbon date of 6745±85 BP has been obtained for this site. No pottery or polished stone tools were found at this site. The excavation has yielded 1478 specimens including cores, flakes, microblade cores, choppers, end-scrapers, side-scrapers, burins, grinding tools, bone needles and awls, and one stone bead. There is a brief description of the artifacts in this paper. While examining them, the senior author first recognized a specific technology of microblade cores present at the site, and the name of Layihai technique wars given to this technological pattern. The reconstruction of Layihai technology is illustrated in Fig. 6. The assemblage of artifacts and the animal remains suggest that the Layihai site is of Mesolithic age, or that it represents the Mesolithic level of cultural development of the stone age.
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