Oldest Hoabinhian site discovered in SW China

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-01-01 15:03:28

Oldest Hoabinhian site discovered in SW China

Xiaodong Rockshelter [Photo/]

The oldest Hoabinhian culture, an important technological adaptation by hunter-gatherers to the humid tropical and subtropical environments of southeast Asia some 43,500 years ago, was identified in Southwest China's Yunnan province.

Discovered at Xiaodong Rockshelter, it is the first-ever Hoabinhian site to be found in China, according to a research team at the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

The Hoabinhian culture was first discovered in the 1920s in the northern Vietnam's Hoa Binh province by French scholar M. Colani, who defined it in 1932 at the First Conference for Prehistoric Archaeologists in the Far East.

The Hoabinhian technocomplex is characterized by large and elongated adze-like unifacial cobble tools, which are thought to be used for woodworking in forested habitats, including the hilly limestone landscapes where the Xiaodong Rockshelter is located.

Leading researcher Ji Xueping said most known Hoabinhian sites have been dated to between 25,000 to 5,000 years ago, with the oldest about 29,000 years from today.

As a technological adaptation practiced by the latest hunter-gatherers to cope with the humid environments of southeast Asia, Hoabinhian sites provide significant clues for understanding the surviving strategies of hominids, and the transition from nomadic populations to more settled agricultural communities, Ji said.

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