Paleolithic research in China

Xing Gao, Ying Guan, Xin Xu, John W. Olsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Nearly a century of archaeological research in China has uncovered a rich record of ancestral human occupation, including both fossil remains and associated material culture. China’s complex twentieth century history, including a long period of relative scientific isolation during the 1950s-1970s, naturally had a profound influence on the style and content of prehistoric, including Paleolithic, archaeology undertaken there. Today, paleoanthropologists around the world recognize that China has yielded some of the world’s most important assemblages of human ancestral fossils and archaeological remains, including a population of Homo erectus from Zhoukoudian and other sites, which is unparalleled elsewhere. Since the 1980s, Chinese paleoanthropologists have been increasingly integrated within the international scholarly community; a process that has both benefited our understanding of China’s own abundant record of prehistoric occupation as well as highlighting the lessons to be learned from the Chinese case with respect to the trajectories of hominin biocultural evolution worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781493965212
ISBN (Print)9781493965199
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • China
  • Intellectual history
  • Paleoanthropology
  • Paleolithic
  • Pleistocene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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