Paleolithic site excavated in Southwest China

Updated: Jan 12, 2023 Xinhua Print
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CHENGDU -- A rich collection of artifacts has been unearthed from a large Paleolithic site in Southwest China's Sichuan province, marking a major breakthrough in China's Paleolithic archaeology.

Located in Xiangshan Township of Suining city, the Taohuahe site is composed of two separated areas, with one covering over 90,000 square meters, according to Zheng Zhexuan, leader of the archaeological team from the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.

Preliminary estimates suggest the site dates back to between 50,000 and 200,000 years ago.

Hundreds of stone artifacts such as hatchets and scrapers, and dozens of fossils of deer, cattle, horses and other herbivores have been unearthed at the site.

Archaeologists said the site is clearly stratified, with densely distributed stone tools revealing three consecutive periods of Paleolithic culture.

"The well-preserved site provides rich information in areas such as geological conditions, geomorphological characteristics, the ancient human living environment and human behavior," said Gao Xing, a researcher from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This information will help reveal the sequence of cultural evolution within a certain period of time in the region.

The Taohuahe site was discovered in June 2022 during an archaeological investigation, and excavation work started a month later.

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