Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 8, pp 1529–1539 | Cite as

The broad-spectrum adaptations of hominins in the later period of Late Pleistocene of China—Perspectives from the zooarchaeological studies

  • ShuangQuan Zhang
  • Yue Zhang
  • JingShu Li
  • Xing Gao
Research Paper Special Topic: Climate changes and human adaptation


During the climatic fluctuations in the late Late Pleistocene, hominins in China had experienced some significant changes and adaptations in terms of subsistence strategies. Based on the zooarchaeological analyses of the faunal remains from the Shuidougou site of North China and the Ma’anshan site of South China, the present study demonstratively indicates that the broad-spectrum diet and its closely-related resource intensification for hominins were already at their places roughly at 33–35 cal ka BP. Compared to hominins of earlier period, who would have preferentially exploited large and medium-sized ungulates, hunter-gathers at later period had otherwise incorporated more small-sized animals (especially the quick ones, such as birds and hares) into their diet. Meanwhile, hominins of the later time had also greatly accelerated extractions and exploitations of the nutritional yields from the large and medium-sized animals. However, it seems clear from the current study that there was significant difference regarding the potential mechanisms for the broad-spectrum adaptations of hominins in the late Late Pleistocene of China.


Late Late Pleistocene Paleolithic Taphonomy Zooarchaeology Broad-spectrum revolution Resource intensification 


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© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • ShuangQuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Yue Zhang
    • 1
  • JingShu Li
    • 1
  • Xing Gao
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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