Earliest Prepared core technology in Eurasia from Nihewan (China): Implications for early human abilities and dispersals in East Asia.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Ma, Dong-Dong; Pei, Shu-wen; Xie, Fei; Ye, Zhi; Wang, Fa-Gang; Xu, Jing-Yue; Deng, Cheng-Long; de la Torre, Ignacio
Year of Publication: 2024
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume: 121
Issue: 11
Pagination: e2313123121
Date Published: 2024 Mar 12
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: Africa, Animals, Asia, Eastern, China, Hominidae, Humans, Technology

Organized flaking techniques to obtain predetermined stone tools have been traced back to the early Acheulean (also known as mode 2) in Africa and are seen as indicative of the emergence of advanced technical abilities and in-depth planning skills among early humans. Here, we report one of the earliest known examples of prepared core technology in the archaeological record, at the Cenjiawan (CJW) site in the Nihewan basin of China, dated 1.1 Mya. The operational schemes reconstructed from the CJW refit sets, together with shaping patterns observed in the retouched tools, suggest that Nihewan basin toolmakers had the technical abilities of mode 2 hominins, and developed different survival strategies to adapt to local raw materials and environments. This finding predates the previously earliest known prepared core technology from Eurasia by 0.3 My, and the earliest known mode 2 sites in East Asia by a similar amount of time, thus suggesting that hominins with advanced technologies may have migrated into high latitude East Asia as early as 1.1 Mya.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2313123121
Alternate Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A