Three lacustrine sections in the Nihewan Basin, Xiaodukou, Donggutuo and Xiaochangliang (40.1–40.4°N; 114.6–114.7°E), were closely sampled for magnetostratigraphic and deposition cycle analysis. Rock magnetic investigations show that the characteristic remanent magnetization of the sediments is mainly carried by magnetite and hematite. The Xiaodukou sequence is one of the most complete sections in the basin and has recorded substantial parts of the Brunhes and Matuyama chrons back to the termination of the Olduvai subchron. Several subchrons within the Matuyama period have been documented such as the Jaramillo, the Cobb Mt. and others. The Matuyama/Brunhes boundary, the Jaramillo, as well as the Cobb Mountain events were observed also at Donggutuo. On the basis of grain size and susceptibility data and of field investigations, the sections are divided into two longer lasting lacustrine episodes with a fluvio-lacustrine deposit in between. They are structured by 15 high-frequency deposition sub-cycles. In each cycle, the grain size fines upwards, while magnetic susceptibility decreases. This behavior is due to cyclic water level change of the ancient lake Nihewan. At Xiaodukou, the variations of the 0.2 to 7.5 μm grain size fraction can be correlated with the marine oxygen isotope stages OIS 64–OIS 11. The grey-green clayey to silty Paleolithic stone artifact layers at Xiaochangliang and Donggutuo are located at depths of 55.4 m and 43–38.7 m, respectively. They were buried when the lake-level was rising. The artifact layers have been deposited around the Cobb Mountain event during the sedimentary sub-cycle 6 of the older lacustrine phase corresponding to OIS 35, 36. Thus in contrast to the results of other studies, the estimated age of the Xiaochangliang stone artifact layer does not exceed 1.26 Ma, while the Donggutuo stone artifact layers date back to 1.21–1.15 Ma. This age determination brings the Nihewan hominids in close relation to the findings of Homo Erectus at Lantian on the Chinese Loess Plateau.