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Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 54, No 2 (2013)
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PALEOENVIRONMENT. THE STONE AGE

2-25 85
Abstract

The article describes lithic industries of the Upper Paleolithic levels of Kulbulak, Uzbekistan, a key site in southwestern Central Asia based on materials from excavations at several sites in the western and northwestern Pamir–Tien Shan region (Kulbulak, Kyzyl-Alma-2, Dodekatym-2, and Shugnou). A new cultural and technological tradition is introduced, for which the authors suggest the name Kulbulakian. Its distinctive features are the bladelet technique and a microlithic set including backed pieces and triangular microliths. Stages in the evolution of the Kulbulakian tradition are reconstructed: origins, development, peak, and disappearance of the carinated technology. Industries belonging to this tradition have shaped the general appearance of the Upper Paleolithic in the area in question.

26-39 49
Abstract

The article presents geomorphological and stratigraphic descriptions of Tinit-1 – a Paleolithic site in Dagestan. A technological and typological study of lithics from excavation 2 includes two refitting analyses. Results of pollen analysis of habitation layers and of radiocarbon dating are presented. Sources of raw material and possible economic specialization are discussed. Taken together these findings indicate that the site dates to the late Middle Paleolithic or early Upper Paleolithic.

40-53 62
Abstract

Sources of lithic raw material discovered by the authors are described with special regard to methods of transporting stone to Upper Paleolithic sites in the northwestern Caucasus. The analysis of obsidian artifacts suggests that materials were imported from remote regions such as the central and South Caucasus, evidencing mobility patterns in the Upper Paleolithic.

54-60 95
Abstract

Countless hypotheses have focused on the enigmatic “Venuses,” but most are not testable. The current authors investigate a hypothesis suggested by R.D. Guthrie involving the waist-to-hip ratio. This measurement determines fertility, beauty, and health in modern females; a 0.7 indicates cross-cultural beauty and fertility. Guthrie argued that the statuettes share an average waist-to-hip ratio of 0.655, indicating that Paleolithic males preferred curvier women. We sought to test this and analyze regional data. Our mean was significantly different than Guthrie’s and we found evidence for regional differences. While some statuettes may have served as Paleo-erotica, it seems unlikely that they all did. 

61-72 58
Abstract

The emergence and distribution of a production economy in western Georgia remains a contentious issue. To date, no Neolithic sites have provided evidence of sedentism or animal domestication. This conclusion is upheld by findings of new excavations carried out at a number of sites – Anaseuli I, Gurianta, Urta, Kobuleti, Odishi, and Paluri attributed to the Neolithic.

73-82 60
Abstract

The article presents the results of a palynological study conducted at Late Paleolithic (Olympiya-5 and Ogonki-5) and Early Neolithic (Slavnaya-5) sites located in the southern part of Sakhalin Island. The reconstructed environments оf Late Paleolithic sites in southern Sakhalin included dark coniferous (fir and spruce) forests, indicative of a relatively warm phases of the last stadial coinciding with Daansgard-Oeschger oscillations. The Early Holocene conditions in southern Sakhalin were relatively warm although a virtually complete absence of pollen of deciduous trees suggests that the Boreal period was not the Holocene climatic optimum in that region.

83-93 39
Abstract

Geological and geomorphological settings are often taken into account when choosing strategy in archaeological studies. In the Vychegda River valley (Archangelsk Province, Komi Republic), at the end of the Late Pleistocene and in the Holocene, lateral channel migrations were the dominant process of riverine landscape changes and hence directly influenced human occupation of the valley. Therefore, to assess the physical settings of archaeological sites we employed paleochannel analysis, a geomorphological technique aimed at reconstructing river channel transformations in the historical and geological past. The potential application of paleochannel analysis in archaeology includes designing archaeological surveys and predicting destructive river actions at archaeological sites located in river valleys. 

THE METAL AGES AND MEDIEVAL PERIOD

94-107 65
Abstract

This is the first technological analysis of the earliest ceramics from final Late Pleistocene sites on the Amur River (Khabarovsk Province). Principal stages of manufacture are reconstructed, from the selection of raw materials to the chemical and thermal treatment of the surface. Differences between technological traditions practiced at three sites include the choice of paste. The general technological level corresponds to stage 3 of proto-ceramic manufacture, characterized by the use of “alluvial” or “mountain” silt as the principal raw material.

108-119 73
Abstract

The study presents the results of multidisciplinary archaeological and geophysical studies of three fortification lines at Idnakar settlement located in the Kama region (9th–13th centuries). Details of the shape and construction of embankments in each fortification line are identified. The gradual expansion of the site via the construction of new forti  cation lines and their repeated reinforcement testify to the intense development of production capacity, population growth, and the enhancement of the social system. The emergence of fortified settlements in the Kama region alongside those in Volga Bulgaria and Russia represents part of the urbanization process of Eastern Europe. 

120-125 79
Abstract

In this study we present and analyze materials from excavations at the fortified settlement of Plamya Sibiri-6 in Western Siberia. The analysis shows that in the first third of the 2nd millennium AD a sanctuary appeared at this settlement which functioned throughout the 6th–7th centuries AD.

126-136 187
Abstract

The article describes a hoard found on the Uibat River, southern Siberia. The hoard includes artifacts typical of the second stage of the Tes culture. Iron and bronze items resemble those discovered in hoards and burials in the Altai and Khakassia and dated to the 2nd century BC – 1st century AD. Certain rare specimens are relevant to the ethnic and political reconstruction of southern Siberia during the Xiongnu period.

137-145 64
Abstract

Based on materials from the Phum Snay burial site (1st–6th centuries AD) and their comparison with materialsfrom archaeological sites in the Mekong Delta, the article addresses the themes of burial practices, religious beliefs,economic and social development, and the organization of Iron Age society in northwestern Cambodia.

ANTHROPOLOGY

146-155 46
Abstract

The article describes a distal phalanx of the left (?) hand of Homo, found in Denisova Cave in 2011. In terms of length, width of apical tuft, and relative fiattening, it resembles Neanderthal phalanges, differing in a somewhat greater transversal hypertrophy of the shaft. This trait may be regarded as archaic. A computed tomography-based comparison with the respective phalanx of the Sungir Upper Paleolithic male has demonstrated that their lengths and transverse section areas at midshaft are similar, whereas the structure of the Denisova specimen is quite different: its cortical layer is thick and its medullary cavity is narrow. A microfocus radiographic examination has revealed a large sclerotization zone in the upper part, a robust trabecular net, and traces of intense inner restructuring. This pattern distinguishes the Denisova specimen from phalanges of modern humans. The overall pattern is archaic, and certain characters are unique.



ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)