China: Discovery of Old Stone Age culture

In China, scientists have found evidence of a 40,000 years old culture, located 100 miles away from Beijing.


  • Stone-age culture was known for now-extinct relatives of human species.
  • These hominins used a pigment called Ochre and used to craft blade-like tools from stone.
  • This site is located in Nihewan Basin.
  • It is a depression, located in northern mountainous region of China.
  • This site is called Xiamabei.
  • Evidence of this culture was found 8 feet below the ground.
  • Based on carbon dating & more techniques of analysis, the layer of silt was around 39,000 to 41,000 years old.

What have researchers found?

The researchers have found hundreds of mammal bones, tools, lithics and more in the sediment. Remains seemed to be in their original spots, after it was abandoned by the residents. The remains revealed a vivid picture of how people lived 40,000 years ago in Eastern Asia. This is the earliest-known ochre workshop in East Asia. As per researchers, Ochre was used as an additive to be used in processing hides. It was also used as an adhesive to affix handles to stone tools.

Paleolithic remains in East Asia

Some of the earliest paleolithic remains were also found at Xiaochangliang site in East Asia. This site is also located in the Nihewan Basin in Yangyuan County in China, which is famous for stone tools discovered there. This site was first discovered in 1923, by US geologist George Barbour. The tool forms that were discovered include notches, burins, side & end scrapers, and disc cores.

Why is it difficult to date Asian sites?

It is usually more difficult to date Asian sites than African sites because Asian sites lack volcanic materials, which can be dated isotropically.




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