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Ushbulak—A New Stratified Upper Paleolithic Site in Northeastern Kazakhstan

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2019.47.4.016-029

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Abstract

We present the findings of excavations at the stratified site of Ushbulak, discovered during a joint Russian-Kazakhstan research project in 20I6. The site is located in the Shilikty Valley, northeastern Kazakhstan, at the junction of routes connecting southwestern Central Asia, southern Siberia, and northern China. On the basis of stratigraphy, chronology, and technological evidence, we identify three technological complexes, relating to the Metal Ages (stratum I), Final Upper Paleolithic (strata 2-4), and Initial Upper Paleolithic (strata 5.2-7). Focusing on the principal markers of the Initial Upper Paleolithic in the region, we conclude that finds from strata 5.2-7 belong to the southern Siberian-Mongolian variant of the Initial Upper Paleolithic, as evidenced by the uni- and bidirectional parallel volumetric blade core reduction, tool types, and absolute chronology. The tool kit includes mostly endscrapers, heavily retouched blades, and truncated-facetted or notched implements. Particularly diagnostic types include waisted blade, blade with a ventrally retouched distal edge, beveled point, backed blade, stemmed implement with a sharp tip, stemmed endscraper, and burin-core. Two AMS-dates from stratum 6 date this layer to ca 36,I80 ± 730 and 4I,II0 ± 302 BP. The closest known parallels to the industry of the lower strata of Ushbulak are finds from horizon UP2 of Kara-Bom in the Russian Altai. Our results suggest that Ushbulak strata 5.2-7 correlate with the Initial Upper Paleolithic industries of the Altai (Denisova Cave), northern China (Luotoshi), and Mongolia (Tolbor-4 and -2I).

About the Authors

A. A. Anoikin
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Senior Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



G. D. Pavlenok
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



V. M. Kharevich
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



Z. K. Taimagambetov
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Russian Federation

Chief Researcher.

Pr. Tauelsyzdyk 54, Nur-Sultan



A. V. Shalagina
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Junior Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



S. A. Gladyshev
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



V. A. Ulyanov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Senior Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090; Leninskie Gory 1, Moscow, 119991



R. S. Duvanbekov
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Russian Federation

Deputy Head of the Research and Methodical Service.

Pr. Tauelsyzdyk 54, Nur-Sultan



M. V. Shunkov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Chief Researcher.

Pr Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



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For citation:


Anoikin A.A., Pavlenok G.D., Kharevich V.M., Taimagambetov Z.K., Shalagina A.V., Gladyshev S.A., Ulyanov V.A., Duvanbekov R.S., Shunkov M.V. Ushbulak—A New Stratified Upper Paleolithic Site in Northeastern Kazakhstan. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2019;47(4):16-29. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2019.47.4.016-029

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