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Ref ID: 36862
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Tian, Chun
Liao, Wei
Chen, Qiong
Yao, Yanyan
Seong, Chuntaek
Bae, Christopher J.
Wang, Wei
Title: Human behavioral responses to the 8.2 ka BP climatic event: archaeological evidence from the Zhongshandong cave site in Bubing Basin, Guangxi, southern China
Date: 2020
Source: Quaternary International
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2020.01.004
Abstract: As one of the most pronounced climatic episodes during the Holocene, the impact of the 8.2 ka BP cooling event was felt throughout the Northern Hemisphere. However, human behavioral responses to this climatic episode has only recently begun to be documented in different areas of the world. Southern China is one region where these human behavioral responses have yet to be clearly identified. Here, we present a recent discovery of stone artifacts from the Zhongshandong (ZSD) Cave Site, which is located in Bubing Basin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China. The cultural deposits within ZSD have been tentatively dated to the 8.2 ka BP cooling event. The ZSD Cave is a narrow, low ceiling cave about 60 m in length. Sixty-one stone artifacts were surface collected in the extremely dark terminal chamber in the back of the cave. One stone artifact was found in situ in the same area of the cave. The overlying stalagmite was U-series dated to 8130 ± 430 years BP and charcoal found below the artifact was AMS dated to 8242 ± 54 years BP. The stone artifact assemblage is comprised of cores, flakes, choppers, and scrapers produced on locally available river cobbles, an artifact collection normally assigned to the eastern Asian Early Paleolithic. Charcoal fragments are abundant in the cultural layer, implying that fire was possibly used for lighting and/or warmth. Interestingly, given the dimensions of the inner chamber and the fact that the cultural deposits sit about 60 m inside the cave, this would not be considered a typical area that would be suitable for long term human occupation. Although other possibilities may exist, one possible explanation may be that, due to the cold winter and/or harsh environment during the 8.2 ka BP climatic event, these hunter-gatherers were forced deeper inside the cave to set up their temporary campsite. This is a hypothesis that needs further testing.
Volume: 563
Page Start: 96
Page End: 104