Geochronology and paleoenvironment of the Taoshan site, northeastern China, and archaeological implications

Guan Nan Zou, Gideon Shelach, Xiao Qiang Li, Chao Zhao, Xue Rui, Li Ping Zhou, Jia Fu Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Taoshan archaeological site located in northeastern China was found in 2011, and an area of 36 m2 was excavated in 2013 and 2014. 2908 stone artifacts, 71 pottery fragments and five ornaments were excavated from three cultural layers. Similar sites with both stone artifact and pottery at least in Heilongjiang Province of China have not been reported. The dating results showed that the optically stimulated luminescence technique is of great utility for such archaeological deposits, and the three cultural layers were dated to 16.5–13.4 ka, 13.4–8.7 ka and 8.7–5.6 ka, respectively. The climate proxies (magnetic susceptibility, total organic content and pollen) indicate that the local climate was cold and dry for the period of 16.5–13.4 ka, warm and wet for the period of 13.4–8.7 ka and warm and dry for the period of 8.7–5.6 ka, respectively. The types and amount of archaeological findings from each layer (period) reflect the human response to the past climate change, implying that the human-related processes identified at Taoshan are associated with climatic and environmental changes. The investigations of the site are very important for developing a better understanding of the colonization of this region by humans, the transmission of technologies and the processes of economic and social change the local societies underwent. The presence of microblades and pottery is the most significant for our reconstructing of the archaeology of the northernmost parts of Northeast China.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6-17
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA


  • Climate change
  • Luminescence and radiocarbon dating
  • Neolithization
  • Northeastern China
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Stone artifacts and pottery


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