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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).

Paleoclimatic data for the region suggest similar trends to those reported globally (20). 23,000–18,000 cal BP led to lower temperatures and increased aridity, with average temperatures in the Yangzi basin ca. Deciduous trees were increasingly replaced by grasses (22, 23).

Numerous caves in the vast karstic landscape of the southern area of the Yangzi River basin of China are known to have been inhabited by hunter-gatherer groups during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene.

The generally good preservation of the cave deposits and the presence of rich archaeological assemblages, including stone, bone, and shell tools, have led to a large number of excavations since the 1980s.

Y.), who uncovered 2 clusters of potsherds indicating the presence of 2 vessels (Fig. A piece of charcoal closely associated with the potsherds was dated to 16,700–15,850 cal BP and organic residue from the ceramic to 17,750–16,900 cal BP (7, 16, 17, 25;) (Table 1).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.A taxonomic and taphonomic study of the fauna was also carried out (26).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 pottery was coarsely made, with thick, uneven walls up to 2 cm thick, and was fired at low temperatures.

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