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Stages in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Peopling of Lake Bolshoye Ushkovskoye Shore, Kamchatka

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.1.041-051

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Abstract

This article outlines the findings from excavations at the Ushki sites (four multi-layered and one single-layered), near Lake Bolshoye Ushkovskoye, on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The sites were discovered and excavated by N.N. Dikov and M.A. Dikova in 1961-1990. Multidisciplinary studies conducted at Ushki V in 2004-2011 by Northeastern State University extended our knowledge of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene peopling of the peninsula. Information about the chronology of the site and the technological and typological characteristics of lithics are provided. The results suggest that the habitation history of the sites included at least eight stages. Each one is described, and their absolute dates are provided: early stage of the Paleolithic to Neolithic transition (~13,320-12,022 cal BP), late stage of the Paleolithic to Neolithic transition (12,225-10,131 cal BP), Initial Neolithic (~8608-8297 cal BP), Early Neolithic (~6679-4406 cal BP), Middle Neolithic (~2809-1516 cal BP), Late Neolithic (~1059-996 cal BP, or 960-1020 AD), First Old Itelmen Period (~806-597 cal BP, or 1200-1400 AD), and Second Old Itelmen Period (~564-55 cal BP, or 1650-1700 AD). Lithics from the first habitation stage are bifacial arrowheads and stemmed projectile points, those of the second stage are tools on microblades, made with the Yubetsu technique. In the Initial Neolithic, tools on blades appear, inserts become common, and, possibly, dogs begin to be bred as draft animals. The distinctive traits of the Early Neolithic are pottery, prismatic and conical cores, and projectile points and burins on blades. The Tarya culture of the Middle and Late Neolithic is marked by trihedral arrowheads and wooden vessels; crude unifacial adzes give way to polished ones, and labrets appear. The seventh and eighth stages represent the Old Itelmen culture. The findings suggest that the earliest inhabitants of Ushki played an important role in the migratory processes connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia with northwestern America. On the basis of more accurate dates, a new nomenclature for stages 1-4 of Ushki is proposed.

About the Author

I. Y. Ponkratova
Northeastern State University
Russian Federation

Associate Professor, Leading Researcher of the Science Department.

Portovaya 13, Magadan, 685000



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For citation:


Ponkratova I.Y. Stages in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Peopling of Lake Bolshoye Ushkovskoye Shore, Kamchatka. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2020;48(1):41-51. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.1.041-051

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