The use of latest Pleistocene-Holocene paleosols in defining Chinese climatic sequences is plagued by poor chronological controls caused primarily by the use of radiocarbon dates derived from bulk soil carbon. Dating of a post-glacial aeolian/paleosol sequence in the Pigeon Mountain basin of north-central China, using culturally deposited charcoal, support a wide array of other data suggesting the Younger Dryas was a period of cooler dryer conditions marked by wide-spread aeolian deposition. Periods of soil formation and higher lake levels bracket this climatic event. Climatic variability immediately before, during and immediately after the Younger Dryas interval is associated with rapid technological elaboration and innovation in the production and use of chipped stone tools, and perhaps, ground stone. ?? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.