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Title:Taphonomic and Faunal Parameters From Pleistocene Hominid Site Assemblages in China
Author(s):Bakken, Deborah Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brewer, Douglas J.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Archaeology
Anthropology, Physical
Abstract:China possesses numerous hominid bearing sites spanning the Pleistocene. As such, China provides an excellent opportunity to examine hominid adaptations to extra-African environments. Understanding the context of Chinese hominid finds has taken on a special importance in view of the current controversy concerning the geographic and temporal origins of anatomically modern humans. Although the hominid record in China has been studied intensively with regard to hominid morphology and lithic technology, the associated faunal assemblages have been assessed only in terms of their paleontological and zoogeographical significance. Analytic techniques assessing taphonomic processes have not been readily applied, particularly in controlled cross-site comparisons. This paper uses faunal analytic techniques and taphonomic indicators to address issues of site comparability and early hominid site use strategies. A series of hominid sites are compared both with each other and with a paleontological control site to assess patterns in the associated faunal assemblages. Defining the faunal patterns can lead to a means of differentiating hominid occupation sites from sites containing hominid remains due to other collecting agents.
Results indicate that none of these sites, with the exception of Zhoukoudian locality 1, represents a long term hominid occupation site. This analysis argues that the majority of these sites, although documenting the presence of hominids, reflect short term use and occupation events. Specifically, analyses of stone tool cutmarks and faunal element profiles suggest these assemblages result from a complex series of site formation processes. Also, taphonomic indicators argue for overlapping occupation episodes that include carnivores and other bone collectors as well as hominids.
Issue Date:1994
Description:262 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1994.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9503136
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1994

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