March 21, 2012

40,000 years old site found in Henan, China

I can't say much more by the moment: the People's Daily article is too short to discern any further implications. By the age however it is very probable, in my opinion, that it is a former camp of our species, Homo sapiens. 

The site of Laonainaimiao is at what is described as a scenic spot in the outskirts of the city of Zhengzhou (Henan, China). The findings are described as stone artifacts, bone wares, all kinds of animal bones and more than 20 fire relics.


  1. Agreed.

    Stone artifacts and fire relics wouldn't necessarily point to modern rather than archaic humans, but bone wares are pretty much exclusive Homo Sapien (and at any rate are not characteristic of Asian Archaic hominins), and 40,000 years ago we know that there were modern humans in Papua New Guinea and Australia and Europe, so Homo Sapiens in Hainan, China would not be surprising.

    Outside Flores, there isn't really anything definitively archaic hominin more recent than about 100,000 years ago, and post-Toba (ca. 74,000 years ago) would be a very plausible time for an influx of modern humans and demise in fairly short order of archaic hominins who were not in some well isolated refugium. This would be 10,000 years or less prior to Jomon Japan.

    Genetics suggest that Hainan is the Southernmost of about half a dozen centers of major demographic expansion in East Asia (along with, e.g., a Yangtze River site, a couple of Yellow River sites, the island of Formosa, and coastal China across the strait from Formosa). So, any evidence of continuity between these Hainanese and modern Hainanese would be quite significant (as, of course, would evidence of discontinuity).

  2. I agree with the evaluation of being H. sapiens. My whole point was age but bone wares are also an indication.

    I do not agree at all with this: "Genetics suggest that Hainan is the Southernmost of about half a dozen centers of major demographic expansion in East Asia". Instead I'd rather think this site among the northernmost ones, at least initially.

  3. Hi I'd just like to point out Henan and Hainan are very different places. Henan is about 1300 miles north of Hainan.

    1. You are absolutely right. Corrected, thanks.

    2. Ah! With that correction I now see what you are talking about. My comments about Hainan are of course off the mark in that case.

    3. Ah, sorry about the confusion. :(


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