Canxionggashuo site was located in the east of Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Zhiduo, Qinghai Province, which belongs to the meadow regions on plateau, reaching 4030 m in altitude. The site’s total size was approximately one million square meters, and its core area was about 15,000 square meters.
Yushu archaeological team union had conducted investigation and trial excavation in this area during Aug. 2012, finding microlithic blade and core, etc, over 1,000 pieces stone ware in total. In Aug. 2013, Qinghai provincial institute of archaeology and cultural relics, together with Sichuan university and Chendu museum, undertook systematic investigation and excavation to this site.
According to the landscape and distribution of the stone ware, the site could be divided into 6 zones (I-VI). There scattered lots of stone ware in core zone (Zone I, II, and III), among which Zone I was the densest distributed, while in Zone IV, V and VI only few stone ware was collected.
Except for the systematic investigation and collection, the archaeology team also conducted investigation in Zone I, II and III, but only few stone wares was found. Based on the excavation, the stratum of I, II and III were various. The stratum of II and III mainly were the alluvial accumulation of different phases. The accumulation of Zone I was relatively rich, found many stone ware, excavated 3 ash pits, 11 stone pile remains, acquiring more than 2000 pieces stone ware, among which 70 stone cores, 33 microlithic cores, and over 300 microlithic stone blade, scrappers, lithic flake, wasted material and other stone ware, more than 1700 pieces. Except for the stone ware, animal bones, carbon granule and other relics were found.
This site was the first systematically excavated microlithic ones located on the northeast of Tibetan Plateau with multi-cultural layers, unearthed plenty of cultural remains. From all, the microlithic remains was mainly small sized stone ware. There were ordinary combination of stone core and flake, and the one of microlithic core and microlithic stone blade. Most of the stone flake and stone blade were microlith, only few were made into scrapper or other tools. The method of how the fake and blade were made showed the technique had become mature at that time.
unearthed stone samples
Yushu area located on the east of Tibetan Plateau, connected with the east and southeast parts, and it was the must-pass-through from the middle part of the Plateau to the east. The excavation of Canxionggashuo Site pushed the study of the origin of stone making industry on Tibetan Plateau greatly. The unearthed stone ware was large in number, comprehensive in kinds, clear in stratum relationship, which paved the base to reconstruct microlithic situation of Tibetan Plateau, and provided material for study of dynamic stone making process. The carbon and bone sample along with the stone ware were essential for the chronology of the microlithic remains.
Among more than 20 sites along Dengerqu river, most of them were distributed in the lower reaches of the river, and Canxionggashuo site was one of the most important. The feature study of the settlement of Canxionggashuo site and Dengerqu river area played an important role for understanding the early humans’ production process and living pattern. (Translator: Lang Langtian)