March 14, 2013

New Late Paleolithic(?) site discovered in Tianjin, China

[In red and crossed out text: editions to the first version. See update below]

A new Late Paleolithic site has been dug out in Northern China, more specifically in Tianjin, the port of Beijing. The site is known as Taiziling.

The information provided at PhysOrg, other than the images is scant, but it would seem to belong to the Late Middle Paleolithic made by Homo Sapiens (clearly much more advanced than the technologies of H. erectus in those areas). No datings are provided anyhow.

The stone assemblage includes cores (n=5), flakes (n=42), chunks (n=5) and retouched tools (n=6). Lithic raw materials exploited at the locality were locally available from ancient riverbeds, with chert being the predominant raw material (72.5%). The principal flaking technique was direct hammer percussion with core preparation, especially for microblade cores. Most stone artifacts were standardized in shape, finely retouched and small in size, and most tool blanks were flakes. Only three retouched tool types were identified: scrapers, points and picks. Modified tools appear to be retouched by hammer percussion and pressure techniques, with tools retouched primarily on the dorsal surface.
"It can be inferred from these materials that this stone assemblage shows a close relationship with the Flake Tool Industry (Main Industry) in North China, but bears some characteristics of the Microblade Industry there", said coauthor SHENG Lishuang, an archaeologist at the Preservation Center of Cultural Heritage in Tianjin.


Important Update (Mar 15):

The impression provided by the PhysOrg article is not concordant with what the source entry at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (Chinese Academy of Sciences) says.

In fact this one rather suggests a Late Pleistocene and even maybe Early Holocene dating and indicates, as some commenters have suggested, that some of the tools show an UP affinity rather than being typical Middle Paleolithic:

“It can be inferred from these materials that this stone assemblage shows a close relationship with the Flake Tool Industry (Main Industry) in North China, but bears some characteristics of the Microblade Industry there”, said coauthor SHENG Lishuang, an archaeologist at the Preservation Center of Cultural Heritage in Tianjin.

Geomorphological and chronological comparison within Jixian County indicates a Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene date.

30 comments:

  1. Interesting. The figure suggests a prevalence of ellongated blanks, and a specific microblade production. I'll say that the assemblage, if separated from its context, it would be clasified within UP by most of european researchers. Just a thought on typology and technology as chronological markers..

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    1. You are the expert but the article clearly says "flake blades", "flaking technique", etc. associating it with the main (MP) industry in the area, which is flake-based (mode 3).

      Where do you see mode 4, i.e. non-Levallois blades? If you do at all.

      Otherwise, if what you mean is that the overall forms and concepts approach the UP, then I must agree and it may imply that the generic basis of the UP techs were already in the MP, but that's something we should all acknowledge based on, for example the MSA or the intermittent increase of Levallois blades, etc.

      Someone days ago asked what I thought of the "UP revolution" and the best answer I could fathom was that there is no such thing: just a covenient line we draw based mostly on European/West Asian (and to some extent also African, etc.) archaeology.

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    2. @Millan Mozota: Apparently, in this case context is important, though, and the claim that this assemblage is Middle Paleolithic may be significant and perhaps a bit difficult to interpret.

      As I understand it, the Chinese Paleolithic was dominated by simple core and flake industries, while recognizably Middle-Paleolithic technologies are either absent or appear relatively late. A recent reassessment of findings from the Shuidonggou site, in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, several hundred kilometers west of Tianjin, suggests that large blades, struck from Levallois-like cores, appear suddenly and intrusively between 38,000 and 34,000 years before present, entering northern China from the west or north.

      That large-blade toolkit at Shuidonggou was succeeded by a "small-flake assemblage" and it would be interesting to compare that industry to what was found at Tianjin.

      "Just a thought on typology and technology as chronological markers.."

      Point well taken but it may be even worse than that. Maju's speculations aside, typology and technology may not necessarily provide a reliable indicator of fully modern humans, either, at least not in this region.

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    3. One issue: the label "Middle Paleolithic" is mine. I deduced from the article's explanations about the "flake industry" and "flakes" but the article only says "Paleolithic". They also mention microblades on cores, so I may be totally wrong. If so I shall correct.

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    4. Maju, many thanks for the clarification but I think the confusion, here, is understandable. From what I have seen, there was no distinct Middle Paleolithic in China and they refer to the period in which blade technology first appeared as the "initial Late Paleolithic".

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    5. AFAIK, in most of East Asia there is Olduwayan and then flake-based (Levallois or whatever) Middle Paleolithic. This last is probably the work of H. sapiens but some instances remain unclear and there is not enough systematization.

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    6. A lot is hiding behind that "Levallois or whatever".

      Best I can tell, what is described in Chinese literature as "simple core and flake" would be classified as a more-or-less Lower-Paleolithic assemblage outside of China. This is precisely the point. "Levallois or whetever", a lithic technology using prepared cores to produce blades of controlled shape and size, is either absent, in China, or appears so late that there is no distinct Middle Paleolithic at all.

      I agree that blade technology, when it appears, was likely introduced by H sapiens.

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  2. Well, sorry if I am skeptical but... The materials come apparently from a survey, they were found in a gravel between 30-50 from surface (no info about survey extension, density, etc). The collection is extremely small, there is no reference about assemblage taphonomy (patina,fractures, reffitings, etc), and depicted materials doesn't seem very characteristic.... leave apart the absence of fauna, numeric dating or even relative dating (e.g. position of the gravel). Is this enough to make an argument about transitions, technological evolution, etc.?

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    1. Are you referring to this other article at the IVPP? Can't find any formal paper, maybe not published yet.

      I see that there are some differences in the description with the PhysOrg article. They say: "It can be inferred from these materials that this stone assemblage shows a close relationship with the Flake Tool Industry (Main Industry) in North China, but bears some characteristics of the Microblade Industry there", while PhysOrg does not mention the later. Also they argue for a Late Pleistocene to early Holocene date, all very different to what I read at PhysOrg.

      I'm going to edit the entry a bit therefore.

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  3. "In fact this one rather suggests a Late Pleistocene and even maybe Early Holocene dating"

    That was my first impression on reading the post when you first put it up. It now makes sense. It is perhaps as recent as 12,000 years ago, very late for any 'Upper Paleolithic'.

    "the claim that this assemblage is Middle Paleolithic may be significant and perhaps a bit difficult to interpret".

    It has long been accepted that any meaningful Upper Paleolithic assemblage was very late into China, and came from the north.

    "large blades, struck from Levallois-like cores, appear suddenly and intrusively between 38,000 and 34,000 years before present, entering northern China from the west or north".

    And many earlier advances enteredt from the north.

    "typology and technology may not necessarily provide a reliable indicator of fully modern humans, either, at least not in this region".

    That the humans in the region didn't use the same 'Upper Paleolithic' technology as modern humans further west did in no way necessitates them being other than fully modern. I am sure they had been 'fully modern' for quite some time. As I keep trying to tell Maju, you cannot use the absence of Upper Paleolithic technology to indicate the absence of fully modern humans. Technolgy is independent of genes.

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    1. "As I keep trying to tell Maju, you cannot use the absence of Upper Paleolithic technology to indicate the absence of fully modern humans. Technolgy is independent of genes".

      You are again insulting me here by manipulating my words and stand. Please desist with this. I do not associate the presence of Homo sapiens to UP, except in Altai. This is not Altai, so quit it before I have to start moderating everything.

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    2. @terryt: "As I keep trying to tell Maju, you cannot use the absence of Upper Paleolithic technology to indicate the absence of fully modern humans. Technolgy is independent of genes."

      I think that's obvious, when one looks at the material record in East Asia. Otherwise, the material record forces to conclude that China was populated by archaics until about 40,000 years ago, when it was invaded by Neandertals from Mongolia.

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  4. "I do not associate the presence of Homo sapiens to UP, except in Altai".

    Why 'except in Altai'? Have you got something against that region?

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    1. You are again manipulating! You know well the answer because I told you already a zillion times.

      For whoever may read this, not for Terry the polemist, who is earning his definitive kick in the butt, the reason is that, in Altai, Mousterian is associated with remains of Neanderthals (only in Denisova Cave, the so-called "Denisova hominin", probably a Neanderthal-Erectus hybrid) before the 50-40 Ka transition period (again with the exception of the Okladnikov cave, where Mousterian begins after those dates). Since the 50-40 Ka transition period instead we see Aurignacoid industries (everywhere but in Okladnikov) and these are associated with unmistakable remains of Homo sapiens. It could not be more clear.

      In fact there is at least another region where the situation is similar: Southern Iberia, where Neanderthals never developed "mode 4", so Mousterian is directly replaced by Aurignacian. However in this case to associate Aurignacian to H. sapiens, we need to refer to the evidence of other land, where related industries (i.e. "Aurignacoid") are unmistakably associated with H. sapiens remains. These are Palestine and Altai.

      So there's hardly any more clear case than Altai for this kind of clear cut replacement process in the MP-UP transition.

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    2. I must be missing something, because I fail to see how this is relevant to the matter under discussion.

      As I thought we'd been through before, it is difficult to interpret the Mousterian industry in Central and East Asia. You even admit as much yourself.

      The Darra-i-Kur temporal bone and other finds suggest that at least some reasonably modern humans may have used a Mousterian toolkit. The Levallois-like core technology found at sites in Siberia and Mongolia, and that appears shortly thereafter in northern China, was also likely the work of modern humans. In each of these cases, and just as Terry said, the absence of Upper Paleolithic industry does not necessarily mean the absence of fully-modern humans.

      Iberia and Denisova have nothing to do with it.

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    3. Central and East Asia do not constitute a unity, for most purposes (and ours very specially) they are two different regions. Central Asia and West Eurasia instead do constitute an ethno-cultural unity of some sort for most of the Middle Paleolithic, all the Upper Paleolithic and later until the Iron Age.

      When I "admit" (not sure to what) whatever about flake-based MP in East Asia, that has nothing to do with Mousterian in Central and West Eurasia. Two very different things.

      Anyhow, there are clearly archaic humans (Neanderthals and Denisovans) associated to Altain Mousterian, what kind of evidence do you ask for?! You and Terry here just want to play "creationist" here and push the boundaries of "lack of evidence" of Homo sapiens associated to Mousterian in Altai "is not evidence of lack" well beyond the edges of common sense.

      If you want to believe in that, fine but I'm not interested, exactly the same as if you want to believe in bigfoot, dragons or high tech atlanteans. Empirical science does not support your beliefs in this matter. Sorry that reality hurt your faith - well, not really: it's your problem, discuss with your psychoanalyst or best friend.

      "The Levallois-like core technology found at sites in Siberia and Mongolia"...

      I presume you mean the alleged Mousterian in Mongolia (in Altai it is clearly Mousterian in any case). I have nothing against it and it may mean that Neanderthals or Denisovans with such tech reached over there briefly. It threatens nothing other than the known boundaries of Neanderthal expansion.

      Whatever the case not all Mousterian is Levallois nor all Levallois is Mousterian. In fact Levallois-Mousterian is an specific facies of Mousterian, while many other populations including H. sapiens and H. erectus senso lato used Levallois tech, often without any apparent connection among them.

      However in East Asia (different from Central Asia but including SE Asia), before times close to the Eurasian expansion of H. sapiens, there are almost no instances (that I know of at least) of something else than chopper industry, alias of Oldowayan. There is one known case of Acheulean in SE Asia but it's pretty much isolated. It has been speculated that the type of stone formations did not provide the best materials for knapping but, sincerely, I feel skeptic about that argument but who knows? Pre-sapiens prehistory is not my central passion but more just an area of complementary interest.

      Not much is known of the Late MP of East Asia but for the little I can find, I feel that a slightly more elaborate non-Mousterian flake industry is found upon the most plausible dates of arrival of H. sapiens, especially if we open ourselves to a first Eurasian expansion c. 100,000 years ago. The matter of Late MP in East Asia is anyhow very confusing, so it's difficult to establish anything based only material evidence, because this one is scarce and often perplexing and hotly debated.

      But nothing of it all links to Altai, except the exceptional and very late Mongolian "Mousterian" (?) and later the UP (mode 4), which was no doubt diffused by Homo sapiens.

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    4. @Maju: "Central and East Asia do not constitute a unity..."

      Mongolia and southern Siberia are often treated as part of Central Asia, for obvious reasons. Since these are precisely the localities under discussion, and since cultural influences from Mongolia or Siberia penetrated northern China -- surely a part of East Asia, even by your pettifogging standards -- in the Late Paleolithic, your objection is invalid and so is everything depending from it.

      "Central Asia and West Eurasia instead do constitute an ethno-cultural unity of some sort for most of the Middle Paleolithic, all the Upper Paleolithic and later until the Iron Age."

      Horse shit.

      Southern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, central and eastern Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Baluchistan, and even the Altai, had strong ethno-cultural ties since at least the Chalcolithic, and in some cases since the Neolithic and earlier. The cultures in this vast region were in no way part of any west Eurasian "ethno-cultural unity", any more than the Harappans were.

      "When I "admit" (not sure to what) whatever about flake-based MP in East Asia, that has nothing to do with Mousterian in Central and West Eurasia. Two very different things."

      You are half-right. It has nothing whatsoever to do with West Eurasia, the only part of the world with which you seem somewhat familiar.

      "You and Terry here just want to play 'creationist' here and push the boundaries of 'lack of evidence'..."

      That is what they call, projection. It is you that is the true believer, here. You're the one pretending that Neandertals or some Denisovan hominid carried blade technology into northern China. In the absence of Neandertal or Denisovan remains in northern China, I can accept that an MP lithic industry was introduced by modern humans. Why can't you?

      "If you want to believe in that, fine but I'm not interested, exactly the same as if you want to believe in bigfoot, dragons or high tech atlanteans."

      I shall sleep so much better knowing that I have your permission.

      Are you this shamelessly pompous and condescending in person or just on-line?

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    5. "Southern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, central and eastern Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Baluchistan, and even the Altai, had strong ethno-cultural ties since at least the Chalcolithic, and in some cases since the Neolithic and earlier".

      How is that related to East Asia? How is it specifically not related to West Eurasia (you just mentioned Iran, right)? Add South Asia to the equation if need be, I don't have any problem with that, what I question is any significant relation to East Asia.

      "Horse shit".

      Have you ever read about Aurignacian, Gravettian and even Neolithic in that region? If so, how is it not related to West Eurasia? Have you ever considered the phylogenetic origins of lineages like Y-DNA Q, R1... or mtDNA H, U, etc.? How is that not related to West Eurasia?

      As I say add South Asia to the equation. My qualm is not about SA but about East Asia, whose influence is clearly absent from Central Asia (defined specifically as ex-Soviet Central Asia, incl. Altai and surely at some late moment also Uyghuristan) until late in the Metal Ages.

      "You're the one pretending that Neandertals or some Denisovan hominid carried blade technology into northern China".

      Your confusion has no bounds seemingly: I never said (or even imagined) that. Blade technology (mode 4) was carried by Homo sapiens, who had first replaced Neanderthals/Denisovans in Altai since c. 43 Ka BP (c. 47 Ka calBP). Those Homo sapiens, IMO, carried with them Y-DNA Q and mtDNA X2 and are to some extent the ancestors of Native Americans (and some other peoples of Siberia).

      "I can accept that an MP lithic industry was introduced by modern humans. Why can't you?"

      Non-Mousterian one indeed. It's exactly my point. But the Mousterian of Mongolia clearly links to Altai for all what we can read. And Mousterian in Altai is clearly pre-Sapiens (Denisova/Neanderthal).

      Do you notice how much time I have to waste just rejecting your misinterpretations of what I say. Please read better next time, and in doubt ask.

      "Are you this shamelessly pompous and condescending in person or just on-line?"

      Only with arrogant idiots.

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    6. @Maju: "How is it specifically not related to West Eurasia (you just mentioned Iran, right)?"

      Central and eastern Iran, yes. Western Iran was more within the west-Eurasian cultural sphere. That could be why the Elamites were literate and the tribes of the plateau were not. That is a separate issue, though.

      The broader point is that your claim about Central Asia being ethno-culturally linked with west Eurasia from time immemorial just shows your ignorance.

      "Your confusion has no bounds seemingly: I never said (or even imagined) that. Blade technology (mode 4) was carried by Homo sapiens, who had first replaced Neanderthals/Denisovans in Altai since c. 43 Ka BP (c. 47 Ka calBP)."

      Sadly irrelevant.

      Blade technology entered northern China from Siberia or Mongolia between 34,000 and 38,000 years ago. It entered rapidly and intrusively. It is possible, as you so desperately need to believe, that this represents some sort of back-migration of a population that had previously migrated north and then independently re-invented the Levallois lithic tradition before heading south again.

      However, there is no empirical evidence of such a migration and, given the evidence we have, an intrusive population from Central Asia cannot be ruled out at this time.

      I honestly don't care what the truth of it is. You obviously do and that's what makes this such fun.

      "Only with arrogant idiots."

      However do you stand yourself? Though to be fair, you are not an idiot. You just believe, with the faith of little children, so many profoundly idiotic things that you might as well be an idiot. The arrogance though, however unjustified, appears to be quite genuine.

      @terryt: "Because Maju has made up his mind that 'modern humans' were some suddenly superior species that spread from some sort of Garden of Eden in a single migration. Any other interpreation of any evidence is impossible for Maju to comprehend."

      I think it's psychological. I sent him a paper on the multiregional development of pastoralism on the Eurasian steppe and he spent days tying himself in the most frightful knots.

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    7. Let's see:

      1. Is it not Aurignacian/Aurignacoid a primarily West Eurasian phenomenon. Note: Even IF it is discovered at some point (not yet) that it has roots somewhere South Asia, that would only fit my scheme of things just even more perfectly, as I think it was in that time that West Eurasians emerged from South Asia more or less]. Is not Aurignacian/Aurignacoid also found in Central Asia (Altai) in the same general time-frame as in West Asia and Europe? The answer to all these rhetorical questions is YES, of course.

      2. Is it not Gravettian a West Eurasian phenomenon? Is it not found in Central Asia (Altai)? YES.

      3. In the Neolithic I'm willing to give you the benefit of doubt about South Asian links (again they'd fit well with what I may expect) but is it not, including NW South Asian Neolithic in the wider sphere of West Eurasian one (same crops, later chronology re. West Asia)? YES again.

      4. Is not in the Chalcolithic/Bronze Age Central Asia (especially again Altai) linked to West Eurasia in all aspects, including genetic data? YES.

      To end: does Central Asia, including Altai, shows at any moment signs of influence from East Asia prior to the Iron Age? NO.

      "Blade technology entered northern China from Siberia or Mongolia between 34,000 and 38,000 years ago".

      Isn't that more like 30 Ka, including Mongolia? Doesn't really matter too much but in order to be precise.

      "It is possible, as you so desperately need to believe, that this represents some sort of back-migration of a population that had previously migrated north and then independently re-invented the Levallois lithic tradition before heading south again".

      I did not say nor mean nor even imagined ever in my most feverish dreams any such scenario.

      What I say is that UP/mode 4 appears to have evolved in West Asia before 55 Ka ago (at least in Palestine with clear H. sapiens association) and expanded from there to Europe, Central Asia and parts of Africa (LSA). In Neanderland (Europe, most of West Asia and Central Asia), this was a gradual but unstoppable demic replacement, in other areas (Africa, South Asia), there may have been some initial migration but clearly not any generalized replacement, so most of the expansion was by cultural diffusion between Homo sapiens. In fact we also seem some of that cultural diffusion towards European Neanderthals (Chatelperronian-Szletian at the very least).

      In East Asia what I think that the evidence both genetic and archaeological suggest is a migration Eastward of some of those initially Western peoples, established in Altai, with Y-DNA Q, mtDNA at least partly X2 and a technology very similar to European/West Asian Aurignacian/Aurignacoid. Maybe they went through Mongolia or even North China but they have left no obvious genetic legacy over there. Another possibility is that they migrated through more northernly corridors. Whatever the case, the genetic evidence ancient and modern only support spread to the bulk of East Asia (China, SE Asia, etc.) via contact. This contact is also attested very intensely in the matrilineal and autosomal genetics of Native Americans, who in that migration became effectively East Asian with only minor Western legacy (especially Y-DNA Q).

      Can you understand this? I'm giving up all hope, really.

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  5. What date are you currently proposing for the OoA? And could you point out where in the article the authors specifically state that different human groups never moved either in or out of the region.

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    1. Don't feed the polemist!

      I'm not going to bother answering those insincere questions. Believe whatever you want but please look for another forum for your aprioristic dogmatic pseudoscientific discourse.

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  6. "Central and East Asia do not constitute a unity, for most purposes"

    They have far more in common with each other than either has with South Asia. We can be sure the true Upper Paleolithic entered East asia via Central Asia for a start. We can be less sure of earlier events but there appears to be commonality through much of the Middle Paleolithic as well.

    "Empirical science does not support your beliefs in this matter".

    The haplogroup evidence does support it. How else are you proposing that mt-DNA N reached all the way from somewhere near Africa to SE Asia and Australia leaving no evidence of its having passed through South Asia?

    "it may mean that Neanderthals or Denisovans with such tech reached over there briefly".

    And they may also have reached Altai 'briefly'. As far as I know you accept that Neanderthals entered the Levant some time after 'modern' humans had already passed through the region. Presumably Neanderthals had moved south with the increasingly cool period that developed at the time. Surely it should be no giant leap to accept much the same scenario for the Altai.

    "Whatever the case not all Mousterian is Levallois nor all Levallois is Mousterian".

    And Central, East and Southeast Asia is not 'Levallois' until long after modern humans must have been present through much of the region.

    "while many other populations including H. sapiens and H. erectus senso lato used Levallois tech, often without any apparent connection among them".

    I think you will find (if you care to actually look) that regions where Levallois has been found were geographically linked in fact. And Homo erectus in Central, East and Southeast Asia did not know the Levallois.

    "However in East Asia (different from Central Asia but including SE Asia), before times close to the Eurasian expansion of H. sapiens, there are almost no instances (that I know of at least) of something else than chopper industry, alias of Oldowayan".

    And that industry actually remained in use long after modern humans had obviously already entered the region. The first modern humans to enter obviously did not carry any advanced technology.

    "It has been speculated that the type of stone formations did not provide the best materials for knapping but, sincerely, I feel skeptic about that argument but who knows?"

    I dismiss it entirely. That claim has been put forward by those like yourself who wish to associate modern humans with superior technology. The claim does not stand the slightest real scrutiny.

    "I feel that a slightly more elaborate non-Mousterian flake industry is found upon the most plausible dates of arrival of H. sapiens, especially if we open ourselves to a first Eurasian expansion c. 100,000 years ago".

    Exactly. But that 'eleaboration' has nothing to do with South Asia. It is more closely related to what was happening in Central Asia.

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    1. Terry: you and I have discussed mtDNA N a zillion times already. It is clear that the properly calculated centroid of this macro-lineage is in SE Asia, near Bengal, so the few NE Asian N-derived lineages come from there.

      "they may also have reached Altai 'briefly'."

      Already changing my words?! I said "briefly" of Mousterian in MONGOLIA, not Altai.

      "Homo erectus in Central, East and Southeast Asia did not know the Levallois".

      AFAIK, there's no Levallois nor any MP tech in East Asia before dates that are already after those of Homo sapiens in West Asia. Who was the author is debatable because the evidence is not yet conclusive but if we accept, as academics seem to do with less and less reservation, that the 100,000 y.o. Zhirendong jaw belongs to our species, then it seems it was work of Homo sapiens.

      The real problem is that we do not have clear archaeological scheme of East Asian late MP, so we have to wait for further evidence to be dug and structured, before we can come to any clear conclusions. Similarly we know only very little of South Asian late MP before 80 Ka. and there we have even less direct paleoanthropological data than in East Asia.

      Therefore at this point I cannot decide whether the Eurasian expansion happened c. 100,000 BP or rather c. 80-70 Ka BP (or both) but in any case it seems clear from the genetic data that it happened via the South - what is also logical if we think in terms of climatic preference (we are not biologically adapted to cold climates at all) and of lesser resistance (Neanderthals were a formidable rival, much more than H. erectus without doubt).

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    2. "And [Neanderthals/Denisovans] may also have reached Altai 'briefly'."

      I misunderstood you in this, sorry.

      That is not what the archaeology tells us at all. Altai has occupation, possibly first from East Asia (H. erectus?) since c. 300,000 BP. Derevianko's team has suggested an even older wave of c. 800,000 BP but this one is ill-documented by the moment. The c. 300 Ka BP migrations are also apparent in places as far North as Yakutia. There's nothing "brief" about this:

      Denisova (H. erectus?/Denisovan hybrid): ~282-43 Ka BP
      Ust-Karakol 1 (near Denisova): ~210-90 Ka BP
      Kara-Bom (Neanderthals, a journey or two South of Denisova): From c. 62,000 to before 42,000 BP
      Okladnikov (last refuge of Neanders/Denisovans, a journey or two North of Denisova): ~45-28 Ka BP

      Only since c. 43 Ka BP we find the UP industries that later appear associated to Homo sapiens, clearly expanding from South to North.

      "The first modern humans to enter obviously did not carry any advanced technology".

      So it seems up to a point. And this is perplexing considering what we see elsewhere, in Africa and later also in South Asia the MSA is clearly more advanced than Oldowayan and Acheulean. If we look for example at the recent data set of the Three Gorges region however I think we can discern tools that are not mere choppers (9,10,11,12 in this image) but some kind of "rustic" MP instead.

      "But that 'eleaboration' has nothing to do with South Asia. It is more closely related to what was happening in Central Asia".

      Not that I know. There does not seem to be any relation whatsoever with the Central Asian Mousterian. What they did may be described as many things but I don't see any Mousteroid tendency whatsoever. Remember that between Mongolia and China proper there are important deserts and also that the "Mousterian" of Mongolia is of very late dates.

      It's not MSA either, of course.

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  7. "That is what they call, projection. It is you that is the true believer, here".

    Something I have consistently noted when discussing matters with Maju.

    "In the absence of Neandertal or Denisovan remains in northern China, I can accept that an MP lithic industry was introduced by modern humans. Why can't you?"

    Because Maju has made up his mind that 'modern humans' were some suddenly superior species that spread from some sort of Garden of Eden in a single migration. Any other interpreation of any evidence is impossible for Maju to comprehend.

    "And this is perplexing considering what we see elsewhere [The first modern humans to enter China obviously did not carry any advanced technology]"

    Only perplexing for you, because you are committed to the above belief.

    "Blade technology (mode 4) was carried by Homo sapiens, who had first replaced Neanderthals/Denisovans in Altai since c. 43 Ka BP (c. 47 Ka calBP)".

    And had quite possibly lived alongside the other two groups for some time before that. After all modern humans have genes from both Neanderthal and Denisovans so must have interbred with them somewhere, some time.

    "Those Homo sapiens, IMO, carried with them Y-DNA Q and mtDNA X2 and are to some extent the ancestors of Native Americans (and some other peoples of Siberia)".

    But neither haplogroup is particularly common in China. Are you now suggesting that Y-DNA O is not a modern human haplogroup?

    "Only since c. 43 Ka BP we find the UP industries that later appear associated to Homo sapiens, clearly expanding from South to North".

    That is your Y-DNA Q and mt-DNA X population surely. Not necessarily the 'first' modern humans into the region.

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    1. Totally nonsense and insistent deffamation: if you think that by putting false statements in my word you're going to achieve something other than accelerating my migration to WordPress (so I can moderate your comments and those of other trolls before publication) you are very wrong.

      You and Highlander have been repeatedly putting words in my mouth that have nothing to do with what I think. You both have crossed red lines way too often. Not only you stubbornly reject to leave a debate that has nothing more to be said about, respectfully disagreeing if you wish, but you are totally manipulating and even reversing the meaning of my words and thoughts only to make what I feel like persisten personal attacks with a thin varnish.

      This is not even a warning anymore.

      I do not think at all "that 'modern humans' were some suddenly superior species" nor "that [they] spread from some sort of Garden of Eden"...

      I do think and have thought all the time "that an MP lithic industry was introduced by modern humans" in China - but from the South (much older evidence, not just in the Yangtze but also in Indochina, etc.)

      "But neither haplogroup is particularly common in China".

      Why should I care? Techno-cultural diffusion happens mostly by contact, not migrations. That's my stand, tatoo it on your brain, pls.

      "Not necessarily the 'first' modern humans into the region".

      Necessarily!

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  8. "And Mousterian in Altai is clearly pre-Sapiens (Denisova/Neanderthal)".

    'Clearly'? In your dreams.

    "but if we accept, as academics seem to do with less and less reservation, that the 100,000 y.o. Zhirendong jaw belongs to our species, then it seems it was work of Homo sapiens".

    So you're prepared to accept that in East Asia the first modern humans are not associated with any kind of 'Upper Paleolithic' technology. There is certainly no connection in technology between China and South Asia. Interestingly the Siberia paper you linked to says this:

    "More Palaeolithic sites are known for the later periods, especially for the Kazantsevo Interglacial, about 130,000-100,000 years ago. ... In general, the Kazantsevo Interglacial was the warmest time in the Late Pleistocene of Siberia. ... During the optimal phase of the Kazantsevo Interglacial (130,000-120,000 years ago), forest was the characteristic vegetation of almost all of western Siberia, up to the Arctic coast. On the Arctic coast, the vegetation was birch and spruce forest (Arkhipov 1993). Most of the West Siberian lowland was covered with coniferous forests and some broad-leaved species such as elm, lime and oak. The tundra zone in the north almost disappeared, and the permafrost in the northern areas disappeared completely."

    Isn't that precisely the time we would expect any OoA humans to have reached the region? And you insist that cold-adapted Neanderthals and Denisovans occupied the region at that time.

    "in any case it seems clear from the genetic data that it happened via the South - what is also logical if we think in terms of climatic preference (we are not biologically adapted to cold climates at all)"

    And Neanderthals were not adapted to warm climates. The only 'genetic data that it happened via the South' is Y-DNA F and mt-DNA M. Other haplogroups can hardly be claimed as definitely supporting such a 'southern route'.

    "Altai has occupation, possibly first from East Asia (H. erectus?) since c. 300,000 BP".

    Continuous occupation. But certainly not continuously by Neanderthals or Denisovans.

    "there's no Levallois nor any MP tech in East Asia before dates that are already after those of Homo sapiens in West Asia".

    Long after. In fact as VA_Highlander said, 'there is no distinct Middle Paleolithic at all' in China.

    "There does not seem to be any relation whatsoever with the Central Asian Mousterian"

    Of course not. Paleolithic China has no 'Mousterian' in the first place. As you say, 'the "Mousterian" of Mongolia is of very late dates' so it should be obvious why there is no 'relation whatsoever with the Central Asian Mousterian'.

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    1. "So you're prepared to accept that in East Asia the first modern humans are not associated with any kind of 'Upper Paleolithic' technology".

      Absolutely. If you guys weren't so self-absorbed you would know. The correlation of UP/mode4 with H. sapiens only seems to apply to some extent to "the Neanderlands" (with two known exceptions*), i.e. West Eurasia from the Iberia to Altai.

      "There is certainly no connection in technology between China and South Asia".

      We don't know with any certainty. There is some pre-80Ka MP in South Asia, and also post-80Ka one, that does not seem MSA (falke-blade mode 3 probably but more question marks than data in general). Whatever the case Altai can be discarded as route because there we do know quite a lot and IT DOES NOT FIT.

      " The only 'genetic data that it happened via the South' is Y-DNA F and mt-DNA M. Other haplogroups can hardly be claimed as definitely supporting such a 'southern route'".

      Rubbish (as you usually say): every single macro-haplogroup of Eurasia+ has a southern phylogenetic centroid: yF and mtM look South Asian, while yC, yD and mtN look SE Asian (with some tendency towards South Asia, say Burma).

      "As you say, 'the "Mousterian" of Mongolia is of very late dates' so it should be obvious why there is no 'relation whatsoever with the Central Asian Mousterian'".

      Finally some common sense! Please do me a favor and explain that to Highlander.


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  9. "If you guys weren't so self-absorbed you would know".

    And if you weren't so self-absorbed you would know your following comment is very likely to be rubbish:

    "The correlation of UP/mode4 with H. sapiens only seems to apply to some extent to 'the Neanderlands' (with two known exceptions*), i.e. West Eurasia from the Iberia to Altai".

    Why 'only' in those places? Surely the correlation of UP/mode4 with H. sapiens need not apply there either. The UP was a development independent of, and later than, the first movement out of Africa. Surely you realise that.

    "We don't know with any certainty [no connection in technology between China and South Asia]".

    We can be fairly certain.

    "every single macro-haplogroup of Eurasia+ has a southern phylogenetic centroid"

    Here we go again. Tell us, what has 'centroid' to do with 'route'?

    "yC, yD and mtN look SE Asian"

    The centroid as an indication of route is obviously rubbish in those cases. Are you claiming they flew to SE Asia from Africa?

    "I do not think at all 'that "modern humans" were some suddenly superior species' nor 'that [they] spread from some sort of Garden of Eden'..."

    You certainly consistently give that impression. I could modify my statement a little and say 'a series of Gardens of Eden'.

    "Is not Aurignacian/Aurignacoid also found in Central Asia (Altai) in the same general time-frame as in West Asia and Europe? The answer to all these rhetorical questions is YES, of course".

    But that Aurignacian of Central Asia appears long after humans had emerged from Africa. So: not relevant.

    "does Central Asia, including Altai, shows at any moment signs of influence from East Asia prior to the Iron Age? NO".

    But East Asia consistently shows evidence of influence from Central Asia. That is the relevant direction of influence.

    "UP/mode 4 appears to have evolved in West Asia before 55 Ka ago (at least in Palestine with clear H. sapiens association) and expanded from there to Europe, Central Asia and parts of Africa (LSA)".

    No-one is going to have any problem with that. But by '55 Ka ago' modern humans had long left Africa. In fact the dating of Neanderthal and Denisova remains in Altai is later than the development of 'UP/mode 4'. Who did they replace when they arrived at Altai?

    "a migration Eastward of some of those initially Western peoples, established in Altai, with Y-DNA Q, mtDNA at least partly X2 and a technology very similar to European/West Asian Aurignacian/Aurignacoid".

    And they met modern humans who were already in the region. Otherwise Y-DNA Q would not have been able to pick up members of mt-DNA C and D who, I agree, were descended from people who had originally come east through South Asia. And B, who had developed from N in SE Asia. And A. Who most certainly did not originate in South or Southeast Asia.

    "'that an MP lithic industry was introduced by modern humans' in China - but from the South (much older evidence, not just in the Yangtze but also in Indochina, etc.)"

    I know you have carefully avoided any comment regarding the abstract of this recent paper in Australian mt-DNA:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618211002278

    "Migration into Sahul from south-east Asia may have been by more complex routes than only along a ‘southern coastal route’, raising the question of possible common ancestry in central or northern Asia for some Australian and American peoples for which current genetic evidence is tenuous".

    Just a matter ot time, Maju.

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