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Ref ID: 18959
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Li, Yinghua
Hao, Side
Huang, Wanbo
Forestier, Hubert
Zhou, Yuduan
Li, Huan
Title: Luobi Cave, South China: a comparative perspective on a novel cobble-tool industry associated with bone-tool technology during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition
Date: 2019
Source: Journal of World Prehistory
DOI: 10.1007/s10963-019-09130-3
Abstract: The nature of Paleolithic cultures in South China and their relationship with mainland Southeast Asia remains ill-defined. The lithic industry of South China has been characterized as a simple ‘cobble-tool’ industry, persisting from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene, while the most representative Southeast Asian industry was also marked by a pebble-tool techno-complex, the Hoabinhian, during the Late Pleistocene–Early Holocene. A possible cultural link between the two regions has been proposed by some scholars but the technological characteristics of the two industries remained elusive, as did the variability within them. In this paper we conduct technological analysis of a ‘cobble-tool’ industry associated with a bone tool technology from Luobi Cave, Hainan Island, dated to c. 11–10 ka, and compare it with the well-studied typical Hoabinhian site of Laang Spean in Cambodia. While there is a slight similarity in operational sequence (chaîne opératoire), a major difference is that the Luobi Cave site can be rejected as a potential Hoabinhian site. The excavated material indicates a high degree of innovation and demonstrates a new sort of variability in the tool-kit of modern human groups during the Late Pleistocene–Early Holocene transition in South China and Southeast Asia. This study represents an initial attempt to decipher the technological cultural variability in this region. We suggest that the emergence of behavioral modernity and cultural variability should be evaluated at both regional and sub-regional scales, instead of defining them as uniform, progressive and incremental, processes. Here we present, firstly, the variability of operational sequences (chaînes opératoires) within the lithic production of Luobi Cave, and then compare this assemblage with typical and well-studied Hoabinhian assemblages from Laang Spean Cave in Cambodia to make clear the regional variability or complexity of human technological behaviors. Secondly, we then discuss the role of these technological behaviors as strategies for adapting to diverse ecology and environments from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene.
Volume: 32
Number: 2
Page Start: 143
Page End: 178