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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Christopher J Bae*
Department of Anthropology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2424 Maile Way, 346 Saunders Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
Kidong Bae
Department of Anthropology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Gyunggi Province, Republic of Korea
Jong Chan Kim
Department of Physics, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Corresponding author. Email:


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 Paleolithic 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.

Archaeology of Eurasia and Africa
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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