Prehistoric Archaeology in China: 1920-60

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<ul><li><p>Prehistoric Archaeology in China: 1920-60Author(s): Kwang-Chih ChangSource: Arctic Anthropology, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1963), pp. 29-61Published by: University of Wisconsin PressStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 16:11</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact</p><p> .</p><p>University of Wisconsin Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to ArcticAnthropology.</p><p> </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 16:11:23 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN CHINA: 1920-60* </p><p>KWANG-CHIH CHANG </p><p>I. PALAEOLITHIC AND MESOLITHIC PERIODS </p><p>A. History of Research B. Stratigraphy and Palaeontology C. Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Sites: A Synopsis </p><p>Palaeolithic Mesolithic </p><p>D. Human and Cultural Development E. Discussion </p><p>Problems of Human Evolution Problems of Cultural Evolution Problems of Cultural Ecology Problems of Comparison </p><p>II. NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION IN NORTH CHINA </p><p>A. History of Research B. Important Neolithic Sites: A Synopsis C. The Neolithic Developmental Sequence D. Discussion </p><p>III. GENERAL COMMENTS </p><p>Scientific archaeology may be said to have be- gun in China in 1920, when Emile Licent dis- covered the first Palaeolithic implement in China from a sub-loess level at Ch'ing-yang in eastern Kansu (Teilhard de Chardin 1924; Teilhard de Chardin and Licent 1924), and when Liu Cnang- shan, a field assistant of J. G. Andersson, located the Neolithic site at Yang-shao-ts'un in Mien-chih Hsien, western Honan (Andersson 1923). During the subsequent forty years, a considerable amount of field work has been undertaken in China, and a preliminary framework of Chinese prehistory, from the beginning of human occupation through </p><p>the threshold of civilization, has been firmly es- tablished (Cheng 1959; Fairservis 1959; Watson 1960, 1961a, 1961b; K. C. Chang 1963). This is no small achievement, considering that before 1920 the prehistory of China was virtually unknown (Laufer 1912: 54-55; de Morgan 1925: 293), but certainly unsolved problems still abound today. This paper outlines the accomplishments of pre- historic archaeology in China during these four decades, gives a preliminary bibliographic intro- duction to the field, and discusses some of the current problems. </p><p>I. PALAEOLITHIC AND MESOLITHIC PERIODS </p><p>HISTORY OF RESEARCH </p><p>With a few exceptions field work in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology has been carried out in China by geologists and palaeontologists as a by-product of their own investigations, although concentrated efforts in the archaeological field are as a rule made when important Palaeolithic and Mesolithic stations are discovered. Three broad stages of archaeological development in this field can be distinguished: 1920-40, 1940-50, and 1950-60. </p><p>1920-40. </p><p>During this period the geologists of the Geo- logical Survey laid the groundwork for the strati- graphic and palaeontological subdivision of the Pleistocene period in both North and South China (Boule et al 1928; Black et al 1933; Pei 1937). The most important single excavation was at Choukoutien, southwest of Peiping in Hopei Pro- vince, where the remains of Peking Man and his culture were found. Elsewhere Palaeolithic im- plements were discovered in the Ordos area of northern Shansi, Shensi, and eastern Kansu and Ninghsia by Emile Licent, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Young Chung-chien; and Mesolithic </p><p>*Part 1 of this article was given as a lecture for Anthropology -Biology -Geology 192 at Yale dur- ing the Spring of 1963. Part 2 is a revised ver- sion of a paper, Current Problems in the Neo- lithic Archaeology of North China, read at the 14th annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Boston on April 2, 1962. </p><p>29 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 16:11:23 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>30 ARCTIC ANTHROPOLOGY 1, 2 </p><p>assemblages were found in Manchuria, Mongolia and the Southwest by Chinese, Japanese, and Western scientists, both belonging to and outside of the Geological Survey. </p><p>1940-50. </p><p>Toward the end of the last stage Pei Wen- chung and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin had begun to attempt making syntheses of the Chinese Pa- laeolithic and Mesolithic cultures and their geo- logical and palaeontological contexts, but more significant results were achieved after 1940 when the Second World War halted extensive field undertakings and stimulated library research. The Chinese Pleistocene geology, palaeontology, and archaeology as reconstructed by Teilhard de Chardin, de Terra and Movius sum up the pre- war materials, and their conclusions still guide field research and interpretation even today (de Terra 1941; Teilhard de Chardin 1941; Movius 1944). </p><p>1950-60. </p><p>An Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (formerly Laboratory of Vertebrate Palaeontology and, subsequently, Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology) was es- tablished under the Communist Academia Sinica to take complete control of the field research in the Pleistocene period (M. J. Kuo et al 1955; K. C. Chang 1958, 1959/61, 1962a; Chia 1959a). For the most part doing salvage work in coordi- nation with industrial and commercial construc- tion, the Institute has so far made concentrated excavations in no less than four regions: Chou- koutien, Ordos, the Fenho valley and the Huangho valley in Shansi and western Honan, and the limestone caves in Kwangsi. Shansi becomes the second prolific region of Palaeolithic cultures next to Choukoutien, and a great future is indicat- ed by the scattered but highly important finds of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic assemblages and human fossils in Southwest China, including west- ern Hupei, Szechwan, Yunnan, Kwangsi, and western Kwangtung. </p><p>STRATIGRAPHY AND PALAEONTOLOGY1 </p><p>Throughout China the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary is well marked by tectonic movements </p><p>and by the appearance of the Villafranchian fauna. Subsequently the stratigraphy of North China is characterized by four sedimentary periods and their respective intervening erosion stages; these are, successively from start to finish, the Red Clay, the Huangshui Erosion, the Reddish Clay, the Chingshui Erosion, the Malan Loess, the Pan- chiao Erosion, and the Panchiao Alluvium. From a palaeontological standpoint, a Villafranchian (Lower Pleistocene) fauna characterizes the Red Clay stratum, a Middle Pleistocene fauna charac- terizes the lower two thirds of the Reddish Clay stratum, an Upper Pleistocene fauna characteriz- es the upper third of the Reddish Clay stratum and the Malan Loess stratum, and a Modern fauna characterizes the Panchiao Alluvium. Both the fauna and the geological cycle of sedimentation and erosion suggest cyclical climatic changes, and Movius asserts that such climatic changes were probably related to the glacial and inter - </p><p>glacial cycles of the Himalayas. Within each of the major climatic and sedi- </p><p>mentary phases of the Pleistocene in North China- Red Clay, Reddish Clay, Loess, and the Panchiao Alluvium- minor subdivisions can in some in- stances be made. The Reddish Clay stage repre- sents a long cycle of Choukoutien (Upper Sanmeni- an) sedimentation which, according to the sedi- mentary history at Choukoutien alone, can be broken down into at least two cold and dry phases and a warm and damp interval; these have been correlated by Movius with the second glacial, the second interglacial, and the third glacial of the Himalayas, respectively. In the Fenho and the Huangho valleys of Shansi and Honan, a widespread horizon of "tubercles" or "concretions" has been identified in the upper levels of the Reddish Clay, in which Palaeolithic assemblages are often found. It is possible that this concretion band indicates a "fluviolacustrine" interstadial within the upper phase of the Reddish Clay Stage- the third glacial stage represented by Choukoutien Locality 15 (Chia, Wang and Chi 1960). But it seems equally possible that the Chingshui Erosion Stage is not universally represented geologically in North China, whereas the concretion bands in the upper levels of the Reddish Clay stage were deposited during a time when the Chingshui Erosion was active elsewhere but only marginally affected the Fenho valley (Movius 1956; K. C. Chang 1958, 1962a). More work in geomorphology and palaeon- tology will be necessary before one of these possi- bilities can be said to be the more likely. After the Chingshui Erosion Stage (when the so called Basal Gravel was deposited), the Malan Loess was accumulated during a long period of time that probably corresponds to the Fourth Glacial in the </p><p>1. (Teilhard de Chardin 1937, 1941; de Terra 1941; Pei 1939e; Movius 1944, 1948; K. C. Chang 1958, 1962a). </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 16:11:23 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>CHANG: PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN CHINA 31 </p><p>European glacial sequence and presumably is subject to minute subdivision according to minor climatic fluctuations, but thus far only two sub- cycles (Malan Loess Proper and the Sjara-osso- gol riverine -lacustrine) and a number of regional facies have been distinguished. </p><p>For South China the Pleistocene stratigraphy has not been thoroughly investigated. Although Teilhard de Chardin and Young have worked out a sedimentary and erosional cyclical sequence of the Yangtze terraces (Teilhard de Chardin and Young 1935), and J. S. Lee has reconstructed four glacial advances for the Lushan and Yunnan regions (Lee 1939), such cyclical changes cannot be directly transferred geologically to the many cave and fissure deposits in which the over- whelming majority of palaeontological and archaeological assemblages in South China have been brought to light. Some efforts have been made, however, to compare the palaeontological history of South China with that of the North and of other parts of southern and eastern Asia, re- sulting in a similar four -fold subdivision of the Pleistocene period into Lower, Middle, Upper, and Modern segments (von Koenigswald 1952; Pei 1957a, 1957b, 1957c, 1960a, 1961; Pei and Li 1958; Pei and Wu 1956; Kahlke 1961; Chou 1958; K. C. Chang 1962a). </p><p>Palaeolithic cultures in China mostly date from the Middle and the Upper Pleistocene peri- ods of both North and South China, and the Meso- lithic stage began with the Panchiao Erosion in the north and with the extinction of Pleistocene mammals in the south. New evidence is begin- ning to come to light indicating that the human occupation of North China began during the Villa - franchian period, and the possible existence of australopi the cines in South China at this time has also been indicated. </p><p>PALAEOLITHIC -MESOLITHIC SITES: A SYNOPSIS </p><p>All Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites that have been specifically described in publications are listed below under several regional headings (Map 1). Entered here are the name and location of the sites, their probable dating, and the typo- logical classification of their artifacts and human fossils. </p><p>I. Palaeolithic </p><p>Hopei: Choukoutien CKT Locality 1: Middle and early Upper </p><p>Pleistocene (possibly 2nd glacial, </p><p>2nd interglacial, and 3rd glacial) (Teil- hard de Chardin 1929, 1937, 1941; Pei 1939e; Movius 1944, 1948; Kurten 1957, 1959; Kahlke and Hu 1957; Chia 1959b; Huang 1960a, 1960b; T. K. Chao and Li 1960); remains of Sinanthropus pekinen- sis^ (Black 1927, 1934; Pei 1929; Weiden- reich 1935, 1936a, 1936b, 1937, 1939a, 1939b, 1941, 1943; J. K. Wu 1960; J. K. Wu and Chao 1959; J. K. Wu and Chia 1955; Movius 1955b); Choukoutienian as- semblage: use of fire (Black 1931; Breuil 1931, 1932a, 1932b) Celtis seeds and animal bones (both large and small game) (Chaney 1935a, 1935b; Chaney and Daugherty 1933), cannibalism (Chaney 1935a; Weidenreich 1939b), manufacture of stone implements- chopper -chopping tools and flakes predominantly (Pei 1931; Teilhard de Chardin and Pei 1932; Black et al 1933; Movius 1944, 1948; Chia 1959b; T. K. Chao and Tai 1961), and use of bone tools (Breuil 1931, 1932a, 1939; Pei 1932, 1938, 1960b; Chia 1959c). </p><p>CKT Locality 4: Early Upper Pleistocene or later (possibly 3rd glacial or later); late Choukoutienian assemblage (Pei 1939a). </p><p>CKT Locality 13: Early Middle Pleistocene (possibly 2nd glacial); a chopping-tool (Pei 1934). </p><p>CKT Locality 15: Early Upper Pleistocene (possibly 3rd glacial); late Choukoutieni- an assemblage (Pei 1939b). </p><p>Middle Huangho: In southern Shansi, eastern Shensi, and western and northern Honan. </p><p>Pei-lou-ting-shan, Anyang, northern Honan: Implements of flint and quartzite, hearths, fossil mammals, and ostrich egg shells from a cave deposit; glacial age is sug- gested by stone typology but not estab- lished by geology or fauna (Anonymous 1961). </p><p>Ku-lung-ts'un, Yang-ch'eng, southern Shansi: Nuclei, long and thin flakes, and imple- ments of black flint, found in u sandy red- dish loams;" implements include uni- facially retouched points and side- scrapers with deep and long retouches (C. Wang 1960). </p><p>Nan-hai-y, Yan-ch', southern Shansi: One of some 40 Palaeolithic localities located in 1957 in Yan-ch' county; pebble tools, discoidal cores, scrapers and points; fauna indicates "warm climate;" a Middle Pleistocene or later" (Chi 1958a; T. Y. Wang, Chi and Pi 1959). </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 16:11:23 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>32 ARCTIC ANTHROPOLOGY 1, 2 </p><p>Hou-chia-po, Shan Hsien, western Honan: Pebble flakes from lower levels of the Reddish Clay (Chia, T. Y. Wang and Chi 1960: 27). </p><p>Miao-hou and other localities in P'ing-lu, southern Shansi: Palaeolithic imple- ments in the middle strata of the Red- dish Clay stage (T. Y. Wang and Hu 1961). </p><p>Ho -ho, Jui-ch'eng, southern Shansi: On the left bank of the Huangho river, excavat- ed in 1960; stone implements include unilateral and bilateral choppers and chopping tools on cores or flakes, large prismatic pointed instruments, small pointed implement of flakes, scrapers, and stone balls, made of pebbles of quartzite; the prismatic points and the stone balls are of the Ting-ts'un types, but geology and fauna (Stegod...</p></li></ul>


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