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The Emergence of Pressure Knapping Microblade Technology in Northeast Asia

  • Yan Axel Gómez Coutouly (a1)
Abstract

This article is a critical review of published data from the earliest evidence of pressure knapped microblade technology from various regions in Northeast Asia (Siberia, Korea, China, Mongolia, Japan, Sakhalin, and Russian Far East), including discussions not only on published dates, but also on published artifacts (drawings and photos) relating to these assemblages. The issue concerning the geographical and chronological origin of microblade technology in Northeast Asia remains a widely debated concern, not only as new data emerge, but also due to researchers having different definitions of the term “microblade” and “microblade core”. In this case, by microblade technology, I refer to the systematic production of microblades using the pressure knapping technique. I therefore review the data in light of this defining feature and conclude that, based on the present state of research, pressure knapping microblade technology probably emerged in the Far East (China, Korea, or Japan) around 30,000–25,000 cal BP, in spite of most authors considering that microblade technology emerged in southern Siberia 40,000–35,000 years ago. In the discussion section, I argue about the potential role of obsidian in the emergence of pressure knapped microblade technology.

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*Corresponding author. Email: yanaxel@northpacificprehistory.com.
References
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