Across Boundaries: Origin of Microblade Technology in NE Asia under a Macroecological Approach

Author(s): Meng Zhang

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeology on the Edge(s): Transitions, Boundaries, Changes, and Causes" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The spread of microblade technology has been explained using human migration and cultural transmission under the culture-historical paradigm of a "refugium model" that illustrates movements of foraging societies from Transbaikal eastward to the Paleo-Sakhalin-Hokkaido-Kurile (PSHK) Peninsula and to North China in the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Environmental deterioration and human migration are cited as drivers of cultural and technological change. This study uses a macroecological approach based on Binford's Constructing Frames of Reference to examine impacts of the LGM on Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in NE Asia. Results from Binford's projections of ungulate biomas suggest that refugia did not exist in the PSHK Peninsula, thus origins of microblade technology were a more complicated cultural process. The appearance of microblade-based societies in NE Asia is not necessarily explained by human migration from the Altai Mountains or Transbaikal, since the shrinkage of ungulate biomass under environmental pressure and previous technology could provide adaptive advantages for people equipped with microblade-based weaponry. Viewing the appearance of microblade technology as a cultural process, rather than a historical event, can help archaeologists better explore these dynamics.

Cite this Record

Across Boundaries: Origin of Microblade Technology in NE Asia under a Macroecological Approach. Meng Zhang. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450485)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 27.07; min lat: 49.611 ; max long: -167.168; max lat: 81.672 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23354