Early paleolithic of China and eastern Asia


  • Kathy D. Schick,

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    • Kathy D. Schick is Codirector of CRAFT (Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology) and on the faculty of the Anthropology Department at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has been involved in research into the Early Paleolithic in Africa, Europe, and China, and has been particularly concerned with problems of site formation and hominid behavior patterns in Early and Middle Pleistocene times.

  • Dong Zhuan

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    • Dong Zhuan is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University and a research associate of CRAFT. He is currently working on his dissertation, a study of the taphonomy and modification of animal bones at Zhoukoudian, the “Peking Man” site.


In attempting to understand the course of human evolution and the nature of hominid adaptation over the past few million years, it is necessary to consider prevailing evidence from all parts of the world. Eastern Asia provides a range of important questions and challenges with regard to this evolutionary puzzle. Although evidence for earlier ape evolution is present in China (for example, at Lufeng in Yunnan Province), the earliest evidence for hominid presence appears to be in the Early Pleistocene, apparently the result of a migration of hominids to and subsequent adaptation within Eastern Asia. The archeological record provides a closer look at some technological aspects of this adaptation during the Early and Middle Pleistocene, showing both distinctive contrasts and intriguing continuities relative to the rest of the Old World.