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VARIATION IN MIDDLE AND UPPER PALEOLITHIC TECHNIQUES OF LITHIC REDUCTION AT KARA-BOM, THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS: REFITTING STUDIES

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Abstract

Primary reduction techniques used at Kara-Bom, the Altai Mountains, are analyzed using the refi tting method. In previous studies, the Kara-Bom assemblages provided a basis for reconstructing the evolution of lithic industries in the Altai Mountains over most of the Middle Paleolithic and at the early stages of the Upper Paleolithic (ca 60–30 ka BP). Under the new stratigraphic subdivision of Kara-Bom, four habitation stages are described. The refi tting of artifacts from the Middle Paleolithic (MP2) layer indicates the Levallois unidirectional convergent fl aking aimed at producing points and blades as a co-product of reduction sequences. Based on cores and groups of spalls from the Upper Paleolithic layers UP2 and UP1, the variation of Upper Paleolithic reduction techniques is reconstructed and a conclusion is made that signifi cant changes in core reduction occurred: the Middle Paleolithic (Levallois) fl at unidirectional technique gave way to bidirectional volumetric subprismatic and prismatic reduction of the Upper Paleolithic type. The Kara-Bom assemblages appear to have been stable variants of the blade technology aimed at producing large and medium-sized blades as well as the narrow-faced micro-reduction aimed at producing bladelets. The comparison of Kara-Bom with contemporaneous industries of northern and eastern Central Asia suggests that the earliest Upper Paleolithic industries (before 35 ka BP) show a marked predominance of the Kara-Bom-type reduction techniques.

About the Authors

V. S. Slavinsky
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


E. P. Rybin
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


N. E. Belousova
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Slavinsky V.S., Rybin E.P., Belousova N.E. VARIATION IN MIDDLE AND UPPER PALEOLITHIC TECHNIQUES OF LITHIC REDUCTION AT KARA-BOM, THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS: REFITTING STUDIES. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(1):39-50. (In Russ.)

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