Professor Dr. John W. Olsen (Arizona University) Gave a Lecture at the Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Dr. John W. Olsen, professor in department of anthropology from the University of Arizona, U.S.A, gave a lecture titiled “the Earliest Residence in Mongolia: an Archaeological Perspective” at the Institute upon request from 14:00 to 16:00 on July 6, 2009. The reporting seminar was presided over by Prof. Chen Xingcan, Deputy Director of IA CASS. Many scholars and students from the Institute, as well as professors and students from Peking University, the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CAS attended the seminar. Participants made discussions with Prof. John W. Olsen after his report.
In his report, Prof. Olsen introduced the archaeological discovery and research in the Mongolia area by the US-Mongolia Joint Archaeological Team in the past 13 years. He first presented photos of stratigraphic section and the relics of the White-Cave. Then he analyzed the relations between the relics inside and outside the Cave, as well as relations of that area with Siberia and Northern China. Dr. Olsen thinks the Cave’s relics are similar with the Lawalawa culture relics discovered in Siberia by the features of the lithic tools.
Besides, he introduced the Tobol sites along Selenga River, where large numbers of stone tools were found. The artifacts present characteristics of the transitional period between the Middle and Lower Palaeolithic periods, and the techniques of stone production was much advanced. All these reflect the close relations between that area and Siberia at that time.
The Sagit site is the only archaeological site in Mongolia where Palaeolothic human skull has ever been found. Prof. Olsen believes this important discovery and the related research may help answer who was the maker of Tobol stone tools. Some scholars argue that the skull excavated from Sagit site represents an early homo erectus, while others believe it belongs to early Homo sapiens’. Yet, this still remains a question
After the seminar, Prof. Wang Wei, Director-General of the Institute met Prof. W. Olsen.
Translated by Chen Xi