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The Shuidonggou site cluster in northern China contains 12 different early prehistoric sequences with great potential to cast light on the transition to Upper Palaeolithic behaviour in East Asia. Here researchers present the latest results from Locality 2, reporting seven occupation levels with hearths, animal bone and diverse industries. Although previously compared with European Upper Palaeolithic sequences, the new work proposes a different trajectory of development. Distinctive macroblade technology arrived in the area, possibly from Mongolia or Siberia, about 41000–34000 years ago. This industry subsequently disappeared, to be replaced by flake technologies.
A petroglyph showing a human face found in East Timor is dated to the late Pleistocene. It recalls ancient Australian forms and raises the possibility of connecting early cave art with the better known painted figures of Lapita/Austronesian art ten millennia later. This new discovery at a known cave shows what precious evidence still lies in store even in well-trodden places.
The authors show how sites in upland Hawai‘i may be dated using uranium series radiogenic measurements on coral. The sites lie in a quarry, inland and at high altitude, with little carboniferous material around, and radiocarbon dating is anyway problematic here for the first millennium. Freshly broken coral had been transported to these sites, remote from the sea – no doubt for ritual purposes. Giving a date in the fifteenth century with an error range of only five years, the method promises to be valuable for the early history of the Pacific.
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