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Evolution of the Lithic Industry in Central Dagestan During the Early Pleistocene: The Rising Occurrence of Flake Blanks

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Archaeological data from stratified Early Pleistocene sites in Central Dagestan are arranged in a direct stratigraphic sequence, making it possible to reconstruct the changes in lithic industry over a span of 1.2 mln years, from ~2.0 to 0.8 Ma BP, and to separate the principal stages in the Early Paleolithic culture of the Caucasus. This study examines blanks found at sites of the Ainikab-Mukhkay group, such as Ainikab-1, and Mukhkay-1, -2, and -2a. Occurrences of large flake blanks (>10 cm) at the Oldowan and the Oldowan to Acheulean transitional stage are provided. Such blanks appear at the beginning of the Jaramillo paleomagnetic episode (~1.07 Ma BP). By the end of the Early Pleistocene, their share attains 25.77 % of the total number of blanks for morphologically distinct tools. They are absent in Oldowan deposits (~2 Ma BP). The totality of statistical data justifies the separation of the transitional Oldowan to Acheulean stage in the region, dating to 1.0–0.8 Ma BP.

About the Author

H. A. Amirkhanov
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Department Head

Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117292, Russia


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For citations:

Amirkhanov H.A. Evolution of the Lithic Industry in Central Dagestan During the Early Pleistocene: The Rising Occurrence of Flake Blanks. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(1):3-8.

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)