Considerable attention has been paid to dating the earliest appearance of hominins outside Africa. The earliest skeletal and artefactual evidence for the genus Homo in Asia currently comes from Dmanisi, Georgia, and is dated to approximately 1.77-1.85 million years ago (Ma). Two incisors that may belong to Homo erectus come from Yuanmou, south China, and are dated to 1.7 Ma; the next-oldest evidence is an H. erectus cranium from Lantian (Gongwangling)-which has recently been dated to 1.63 Ma-and the earliest hominin fossils from the Sangiran dome in Java, which are dated to about 1.5-1.6 Ma. Artefacts from Majuangou III and Shangshazui in the Nihewan basin, north China, have also been dated to 1.6-1.7 Ma. Here we report an Early Pleistocene and largely continuous artefact sequence from Shangchen, which is a newly discovered Palaeolithic locality of the southern Chinese Loess Plateau, near Gongwangling in Lantian county. The site contains 17 artefact layers that extend from palaeosol S15-dated to approximately 1.26 Ma-to loess L28, which we date to about 2.12 Ma. This discovery implies that hominins left Africa earlier than indicated by the evidence from Dmanisi.
Carbon Preference Index (CPI values) of higher plant-derived long-chain n-alkanes extracted from 62 surface soil samples in eastern China exhibited a specific pattern of variations, namely gradual increase with the increasing latitudes. Such regular variations existed in both forest soil and grassland soil. Our data implied that CPI values of higher plant-derived long-chain n-alkanes had a certain connection with climatic conditions, and such a connection was not influenced by vegetation types. Together with previous data from marine sediments, loess/ paleosol sequences, tertiary red clay and modern plants, our observation made us conclude that CPI values of higher plant-derived long-chain n-alkanes may be used as an excellent proxy for paleoclimatic studies.
The propagation of a multi-Gaussian beam in turbulent atmosphere in a slant path is studied. The analytical expression for the average intensity of a general multi-Gaussian beam is derived. As special cases the average intensities of a two- and a four-Gaussian beam are investigated and numerically calculated. The investigation reveals that at lower altitude and with large sigma the intensity distribution at the receiver plane can have a shape (multiple peaks) similar to that at the source plane. But with increase in altitude or decrease in sigma, the multiple peaks gradually disappear and evolve into the profile of a fundamental Gaussian beam. From the comparisons between the different propagations we can see that the beam spreading due to wavelength and initial waist width in a slant path is much slower than that in a horizontal path.
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