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Rui X.,Peking University | Zhang J.-F.,Peking University | Hou Y.-M.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Z.-M.,Ordos Antiquity and Archaeology Institution | And 3 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2015

The Wulanmulun site found in 2010 is an important Paleolithic site in Ordos (China), from which lots of stone and bone artifacts and mammalian fossils have been recovered. It was previously dated by radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) techniques on quartz. To further confirm the reliability of the chronology constructed based on OSL ages and test the applicability of the recently developed pIRIR procedure on sediments from northern China, twenty-four sediment samples (including eolian, lacustrine and fluvio-eolian sands) from the site were determined using the multi-elevated-temperature post-IR IRSL (MET-pIRIR or pIRIR) procedure on potassium feldspar. The results show that the studied samples have two MET-pIRIR D e preheat plateaus (280-320 and 340-360°C), and the bleaching rates of the luminescence signals are associated with sample ages and stimulation temperatures. All the pIRIR ages (7-155ka) corrected for anomalous fading and residual dose obtained after solar bleaching for 15h are larger than the corresponding quartz OSL ages (4-66ka) previously determined, even for the young eolian samples (<10ka). But the corrected IRSL(50°C) ages (6-85ka) are broadly consistent with the quartz ages. It appears that the IRSL(50°C) ages are more reliable, although this contradicts the previously results obtained by other people. On the other hand, we also obtained an extended age plateau between the stimulation temperatures of 50 and 290°C in the plot of age versus stimulation temperature (A-T plot) by subtracting different residual doses obtained after different bleaching times. The reliability of the plateau ages requires further investigation. For the sediment samples from this site, quartz should be more suitable for dating than K-feldspar, and the quartz OSL ages of 50-65ka for its cultural layer should be reliable. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Zhang L.-M.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhang L.-M.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Griggo C.,University of Savoy | Dong W.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

Nearly three thousand specimens of mammalian remains were unearthed from Wulanmulun Paleolithic site in Ordos, Nei Mongol, during 2010-2012 rescue excavations. The majority of the remains belong to medium and large sized hoofed mammals, particularly woolly rhinoceros. The materials are mostly fragmental and associated with thousands of stone artifacts. Taphonomic analyses show that the remains were subjected to little alluvial transportation but some weathering before burial. Only two kinds of bone tools, antler hammers and shaft points, were identified. The cut marks on the bones showed that the animals were mostly hunted and butchered on the spot rather than scavenged. The prey were likely lured or driven into the site and trapped in the muddy alluvial deposits and butchered near or after their death. The site is more probably a trap for hunting large animals and a follow-up butchery shop. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Dodson J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Li X.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Sun N.,Chang'an University | Atahan P.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | And 5 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2014

People in northern and western China were probably the first in the world to use coal as a source of energy in a consistent way. The ages cluster around 1900-2200 bc in modern day Inner Mongolia and Shanxi provinces. These are areas where near-surface coal is abundant today and woody vegetation was scant in the Bronze Age. Since coal is bulky to transport, it was probably not a cost-effective energy source in areas with abundant wood supply. The sites where coal was first used were probably occupied for a century to a few centuries at most and were associated with Bronze Age societies. The earliest age is about 3490 bc from a house site at Xiahe in Shaanxi Province; however, the coal is not securely tied to the radiocarbon ages and is assumed to have been used at this site sometime after 3490 bc. The elemental composition of modern mine and sedimentary coal in nearby archaeological contexts suggests that coal was used from local sources, and that elemental composition of coal may be a useful tool in identifying site origin of coal. © The Author(s) 2014.

Chen H.,Zhejiang University | Hou Y.-M.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Z.,Ordos Antiquity and Archaeology Institution | Zhen Z.,Ordos Antiquity and Archaeology Institution | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

The Wulanmulun site, located in southwestern Inner Mongolia (China), is an important Paleolithic discovery in the Ordos Plateau in addition to the sites of Salawusu and Shuidonggou. About 4200 stone artifacts, 3400 fossils, and abundant hunting evidence of hominid were uncovered in 2010. In order to explore stone tool function and human behavior at Wulanmulun during the Middle to Late Pleistocene, we have selected 140 specimens excavated from Locality 1 of Wulanmulun in 2010 for use-wear analysis. The results suggest that 58 specimens retain evidence of use-wear, accounting for 41.4% of the observed samples. Many stone artifacts display use wear, and several show wear from hafting. The working motion was dominated by defleshing and slicing, and the main contact materials were animal substances. Animal processing might have been one of the main working tasks at Locality 1 of Wulanmulun, as numerous animal bone fragments with obvious cut marks and burnt bones were also found in situ. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Dong W.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Hou Y.-M.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Yang Z.-M.,Ordos Antiquity and Archaeology Institution | Zhang L.-M.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Discovered in 2010 with the construction of Landscape Park on the left bank of Wulanmulun River in Kangbashi District of Nei Mongol, Wulanmulun Paleolithic Site yielded large quantities of mammalian specimens during 2010-2012 rescue excavations. Identified fossil materials include Myospalax sp., Cricetulus sp., Microtus sp., Apodemus sp., Arvicola sp.?, Dipodidae gen. et sp. indet., Lepus sp., Mustelidae gen. et sp. indet., Coelodonta antiquitatis, Equus przewalskii, Camelus cf. C. knoblochi Megaloceros ordosianus and Gazella sp. The fauna analyses show that the paleoenvironment in Wulanmulun Site area might have been a mixture or mosaic of grassland and forest with some small streams and swamps. The fluctuation of annual temperature might have been high, with the winter very cold and the summer relatively warm. The Wulanmulun fauna is in the same paleozoogeographic sub-province as Baotou, Shiyu, Salawusu and Loufangzi faunas, different from that of the Xiaogushan and Yanjiagang faunas of Northeast China, and more different from that of the Dantu fauna of East China. The Wulanmulun area was suitable for the habitation of the late Paleolithic humans, and Wulanmulun fauna were their main hunting prey. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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