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Paper Code  
Title   Linking spatial grids of the old and new excavations at Zhoukoudian Locality 1, China
Authors   FengLi
Corresponding Author   FengLi
Year   2018
Title of Journal   Journal of Human Evolution
Page   166-169

Zhoukoudian locality 1 (ZKD Loc.1; formally “Choukoutien”), one of the most important Homo erectus sites, has attracted a great deal of attention from academic communities and has shed much light on our understanding of human evolution since it was found in the early 20th century (Andersson, 1919). After more than a century of excavation and research, there have been enormous academic achievements, although significant debates such as the anthropogenic use of fire and the formation of the cave system itself still remain unresolved (Binford and Ho, 1985, Binford and Stone, 1986, Weiner et al., 1998, Goldberg et al., 2001, Boaz et al., 2004, Shen et al., 2009, Zhang et al., 2014, Gao et al., 2016, Shen et al., 2016, Zhang et al., 2016a, Zhang et al., 2016b; and references therein). In 2004, Boaz and colleagues published a study of the spatial distribution and taphonomy of Homo erectus fossils at ZKD Loc.1 (Boaz et al., 2004). They combined a large amount of data including numbers of the specimens, illustrations of the excavation plots, daily working photos and text descriptions from the literature, and presented a three-dimensional plot of the excavations and find-spots of the human fossils. Although they analyzed a comprehensive set of data, they promulgated an error regarding the scale of the excavation trenches themselves. The size of each trench was 2 × 2 m in diggings that were carried out in 1934 and thereafter, but Boaz et al. interpreted them as 1 × 1 m units and concluded that one of the site's principal excavators, Lanpo Jia (Lan-P'o Chia), had made an error in his drawings of the excavation levels reproduced in publications (see also Boaz and Ciochon, 2004). Although this small mistake does not alter the positions of the fossils in the grids, it does change the three-dimensional plot constructed by Boaz et al. (2004), and also potentially influences future interpretations based on spatial analysis. As Boaz and his colleagues have correctly stated, data must be accurate. Since Professor Jia risked his life preserving the original Zhoukoudian excavation notes and illustrations during World War II (Jia and Huang, 1984), we feel obligated to correct the record regarding Jia's invaluable work at Zhoukoudian.

Beginning in 2009, a new excavation project has been undertaken at ZKD Loc. 1 by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Zhoukoudian Museum (Shen et al., 2016, Zhang et al., 2016a, Zhang et al., 2016b). A new excavation grid was constructed referring to the old coordinate system. Here we present those new excavation grids as well as their connections with the old provenience system, and correct Boaz et al.'s (2004) mistake using additional lines of evidence.

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Full Text Link   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248416302251https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248416302251