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《Acta Anthropologica Sinica》 2004-01
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U-SERIES DATING ON FOSSIL TEETH FROM XIANREN CAVE IN XICHOU, YUNNAN PROVINCE

ZHANG Xin-feng~1, JI Xue-ping~2, SHEN Guan-jun~1(1. Institute for Coast and Quaternary Studies, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097; 2. Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650118)  
Xianren Cave, located ca. 300 m southeast to the town of Xichou County, Yunnan Province, is one of the numerous modern Homo sapiens cave sites in southern China. From the deposits inside the cavern, 5 hominid teeth together with an abundance of mammalian fossils representing 32 species have been recovered. We have tried to date the flowstone layers covering the fossiliferous deposits, but failed to obtain meaningful results because of their mediocre quality and low uranium contents. Then 4 fossil teeth were selected from the museum collection. Judging by the adhered matrix deposits, 3 of them (XRD-1, 2, 3) should come from the Middle Layer, from which the hominid teeth were believed to come, while another one (XRD-4) may come from the Upper Layer. ()~(230)Th/()~(234)U dating was carried out on all the 4 samples, yielding results in the range of 47 Ka and 105 ka. Independent ()~(227)Th/(()~(230)Th) determinations on XRD-2 and 4 gave results consistent within errors with those from ()~(230)Th/()~(234)U. It seems thus plausible to attribute the hominid teeth in a range of 47—105 ka. However, compared with the well established U-series dating of speleothem calcites, the U-series dates on fossil materials tend to be much younger. So it is highly possible for the above dates to be underestimated. In any case, the present results are in line with those from other modern Homo sapiens sites we have previously studied, indicating that the appearance of modern humans in southern China may be an event as early as in West Asia and South Africa.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金 (4 0 0 730 2 0 )
【CateGory Index】: Q981
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