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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 1

S. A. Vasiliev (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Siberia

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Pages: 178-210

The Middle Palaeolithic remains have been identified in all areas of Southern Siberia from Altai to Trans-Baikal and even beyond this region in the Lena basin and adjacent areas at the Viliui and Nizhniaia Tunguska Rivers. Both lithic evidence with prominent role of the Levallois technology and fossil human record belonging to Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, indicate a close proximity of the Mousterian in Siberia to the Middle Palaeolithic of Central Asia, the Middle and Near East. It seems that the Middle Palaeolithic of Altai and Mongolia can be regarded as the eastern most area of the distribution of the Mousterian culture associated with Neanderthal-grade people. The data at hand are too scanty to decide if the appearance of the Upper Palaeolithic in the region was associated with early Homo sapiens sapiens migration. The earliest Upper Palaeolithic traditions of Siberia share a lot of features with underlying Mousterian, thus demonstrating an apparent continuity between the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. At the same time these traditions are characterized by the appearance of such typically Upper Palaeolithic traits as mobile art objects, sophisticated bone technology and personal ornaments. The southwestern way for early Homo sapiens sapiens migration to Altai appears to be plausible and the Early Upper Palaeolithic sites dated by the late Karginsky time, are identified at Altai, the Angara and Trans-Baikal.

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