The Kuahuqiao and Hemudu bone spades: use contexts and beyond

Author(s): Liye Xie; Weijin Huang; Leping Jiang

Year: 2015


Bone spades crafted from large mammal scapulae recovered from archaeological contexts have generally been assumed to be earth-working implements, based on analogies with ethnographic artifacts. On the Ningshan Plain in eastern China, hundreds of scapular spades have been discovered. The majority of these scapular spades belong to the early Hemudu culture (7,000-6,000 BP), with a few earlier examples dating to the last stage of the Kuahuqiao culture (7,200-7000 BP). To identify the use contexts of the implements, we conducted over 20 experiments in 11 fields so as to evaluate the implements’ performance characteristics and collect use-wear samples. Our experimental fields included both modern and ancient sediments used for agriculture and residential constructions. In this paper, we report our experimental results of soil signatures on the scapular implements across soil types and the application of the results to identify the use contexts of the archaeological specimens. Based on these results, we discuss the Kuahuqiao and Hemudu land-use strategies.

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Cite this Record

The Kuahuqiao and Hemudu bone spades: use contexts and beyond. Liye Xie, Leping Jiang, Weijin Huang. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397051)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;