The Laibin hominid represents one of the rare finds of modern Homo sapiens in China, rare for its relative completeness and well-established stratigaphic provenance. This paper presents the results of mass spectrometric U-series dating of intercalated calcite samples from the Laibin site. The capping flowstone and the calcite vein, which sandwich the hominid fossil-containing deposits, date to 38.5 ± 1.0 and 44.0 ± 0.8 ka, setting respectively the minimum and maximum ages to the fossils. The second flowstone layer is 112.0 ± 1.4 ka old, indicating that the cultural sequence may possibly extend to somewhere between 44 and 112 ka. Securely dated Laibin finds should be of importance in reconstructing human physical and cultural evolution in the region.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project has been jointly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (40373031) and Wenner-Gren Foundation (Gr. 6975). ICP-MS U-series analyses were supported by US NSF grants. We thank the government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for permission, Dr James L. Bischoff and Dr Qian Wang for helpful discussions and two anonymous referees for constructive criticisms that improved clarity and consistency. The first author is thankful to his graduate students Li Shi and Xinfeng Zhang for sample pretreatment and alpha spectrometric determinations.
- Laibin hominid
- Late Pleistocene
- Morphologically modern humans
- Southern China
- Speleothem calcite
- U-series dating