Bone needle fragment in LGM from the Shizitan site (China): Archaeological evidence and experimental study
An eyed bone needle fragment found in Shizitan 29 site, Shanxi Province, dated to ca. 23-26 ka cal BP, is one of the early needles with a precise stratigraphic context and date among the open-air Palaeolithic sites in North China. Although the needle was found broken, based on microwear observation and experiments in making and using bone needles, we conclude that it had been used for sewing. Further archaeological evidence, including a sandstone needle-shaping stone, drilling tools, perforated ornaments, and microscopic evidence of thread, support the presence of a bone needle at the Shizitan 29 site. It was the same type as the bone needles used in Siberia during the Late Pleistocene, and the use of needles at Shizitan was one of the strategies for making warm clothes to adapt to the coming of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 24,000-18,000 cal BP).