The University of Arizona

The Early to Late Paleolithic Transition in Korea: A Closer Look

Christopher Bae, Kidong Bae, Jong Chan Kim


In Korean Paleolithic archaeology, it is traditionally thought that the Late Paleolithic stone tool industries were in some way derived from the Shuidonggou site in northern China. The latter site has long been considered to be the type site of the eastern Asian Late Paleolithic blade technology. However, recent studies suggest that a number of Korean Late Paleo-lithic sites probably predate Shuidonggou, some by several thousands of years. Here, we present a series of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dates recently analyzed by the AMS laboratory at Seoul National University and discuss further the possibility that the introduction of blade (and later microblade) technologies into Korea may have originated directly from Mongolia, Siberia, and possibly other areas of northeast China, rather than from Shuidonggou.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16255


Korea; Early Paleolithic; Late Paleolithic; Radiocarbon

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