These were subdivided into 4 quadrants of 50 × 50 cm (Fig. We also excavated a one meter square in T4 and cleaned all of the sections to clarify the exposed stratigraphy.In addition to the radiocarbon dating reported here, we studied site formation processes using micromorphology and mineralogy.Because of the presence of such plant remains and early pottery, these caves are often seen as the predecessors of the early Holocene open-air Neolithic villages found in the alluvial plain of the Yangzi River and its tributaries, such as the Pengtoushan and Bashidang sites, and other settlement sites of the Pengtoushan Culture (18, 19).
The small collection of lithic artifacts recovered was recently recorded and found to reflect the same tool categories, dominated by core-choppers and retouched flakes, known from the first excavations.
The Terminal Pleistocene warming was interrupted by the Younger Dryas ca. Although the Younger Dryas is seen in other regions as a generally cold and dry period, in South China the main effect of the Younger Dryas was probably the sudden onset of greater seasonality.
Understanding the local impact of the Younger Dryas on the basin of the Yangzi River and in particular in the limestone region south of the main river channel is still not possible (20).
The cave is 12–15 m wide along its east-west axis and about 6–8 m wide from north to south.
The uppermost deposits were removed in historical time.
While similarly well-preserved Late Pleistocene cave sites are found in other regions of the world, the cave sites in this region of South China (as well as several sites in neighboring Japan and the Russian Far East) are unique due to the presence of ceramic vessels in their otherwise Late Paleolithic assemblages.