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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum Plus. 2003-2004. №1

Yu. E. Demidenko (Kiev, Ukraine)

Problems of Epochal and Industrial Attribution for Kiik-Koba Rock-Shelter, Lower Layer Type Complexes in the Crimea




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Pages: 271-300


Since excavations by G.A. Bonch-Osmolowski in Kiik-Koba rock-shelter (eastern Crimea) in 1924 – 1925, the site’s lower layer so-called “amorphous” artifacts complex has had no real analog among other Crimean Palaeolithic industries and therefore not occasionally in archaeological literature it has been recently noted that its lithics “until now remain in many respects mysterious” (Praslov 1984: 105). The author proposes a new look at Kiik-Koba rock-shelter’s lower layer lithic industry and chronology through a quite thorough studies of published and unpublished data on flints for distinguishing of their main industrial features, and some fauna and lithological characteristics as the layer’s chronological indications. Moreover, new 1990s excavations at Starosele site (western Crimea) revealed a very different for the site complex in its layer 3 which, from the point of view of the author, has a number of straight techno-typological analogous features with the Kiik-Koba rock-shelter, lower layer artifacts. The integral analysis of these two finds complexes allows to consider them as belonging to one and the same Middle Palaeolithic industry with its chronological position within the first stadial of Last (Wurm) Glacial - First Pleniglacial time period (ca. 70 000 BP). Industrially, they are characterized by the following main techno-typological properties. Technologically, flint primary flaking processes are based on usage of unsystematic, parallel “primitive” and discoid methods with a “hard hammer” knapping mode, while such technological elements as fine facetting of cores striking platforms and  employment of lateral supplementary platforms for preparation of cores flaking surface convexity, or any of Levallois methods were not applied. Accordingly, the received debitage (mainly flakes) is of a common small size and unsystematic shape. Typologically, the main body of tool-kits consists of various denticulates and notches and pieces with marginal and/or irregular retouch, which are also added by scrapers with the dominance among them of simple, transverse and double types. The secondary treatment of tools is most prominently characterized by frequent application of “Clactonian notches” technique and ventral and alternate retouching with, on the other hand, complete absence of any bifacial tool production traditions.
This Crimean Middle Palaeolithic Kiik-Koba, lower layer type industry with some definite “archaic” industrial traits for the time period of ca. 70 000 BP is a very distinct one not only in the Crimean Middle Palaeolithic but also in the whole Eastern Europe. V.N. Gladilin frequently noted that its industrial similarity to “Tayacian” complexes in Moldova (e.g., Starye Duruitory rock-shelter, layers 3-4, surface materials of Mersyna site) is still of a very preliminary character. Therefore, further studies should be concentrated on new analyses of both: the Kiik-Koba rock-shelter’s lower layer flint assemblage (never published in full details) – the eponymous complex for the industry - and the mentioned Moldavian “Tayacian”, to enable further understanding of this rather late but “archaic” Middle Palaeolithic industrial phenomenon.


 

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