Further geological and palaeoanthropological investigations at the Maludong hominin site, Yunnan Province, Southwest China
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Three-dimensional mapping and section work undertaken by us in 2008 have identified 11 stratigraphic units at Maludong site. AMS radiocarbon dating of charcoal established an accurate and internally consistent age profile for the sequence of 17.8ᰮ2 ka to 13.2ᰮ1 ka. Archaeomagnetic analysis showed changes in externally derived pedogenically enhanced material consistent with a warming in climate between the cold period of Henrich Event 1 and the B謬ing-Aller褠interstadial. Human remains recovered during the 1989 excavation were derived from a deposit dating to this interstadial, or between 14.3ᰮ3 ka and 13.5ᰮ1 ka. Anthropogenic features, including burnt rocks, baked sediment and thick charcoal and ash layers, were identified and examined through archaeomagnetic analysis. Two monkey fossils are described here, one of them being reassigned from Macaca robustus to M. aff. M. assamensis. They confirm the young age of the site and also show signs of anthropogenic alteration in the form of burning. Additional human cranial remains are reported for the first time and new data are provided for some specimens described previously. A range of new features is identified that strengthen the affinities of the Maludong remains to archaic humans. The presence of this globally unique mosaic of archaic and modern features raises important questions about human evolutionary history in East Asia during the Late Upper Pleistocene.
Chinese Science Bulletin
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Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
Biological (Physical) Anthropology