Reassessment of the Lower Paleolithic (Acheulean) presence in the western Tien Shan

K. A. Kolobova, D. Flas, A. I. Krivoshapkin, K. K. Pavlenok, D. Vandenberghe, M. De Dapper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kulbulak (Uzbekistan) is among the most important Paleolithic sites in Central Asia. Based on excavations from the 1960s to the 1980s, a stratigraphic sequence yielding 46 archeological horizons of the Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic has been described. The lowermost 22 layers were at that time defined as Acheulean, both in cultural and chronological aspects. Based on these previous works, Kulbulak has thus often been cited as one of the rarest occurrences of Lower Paleolithic and Acheulean in the region. However, this attribution was debatable. New excavations at Kulbulak in 2007–2010 provided new material and the first reliable dates that permitted us to tackle this issue. Moreover, a reappraisal of the lithic collections and documents from previous excavations was also conducted. These new data clearly indicate the absence of Acheulean or even Lower Paleolithic at Kulbulak. On the contrary, the lithic assemblages from this site only correspond to Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods. The lowermost layers are particularly interesting due to the presence of an early industry with blade and bladelet technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-630
Number of pages16
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Acheulean
  • Blade and bladelet technology
  • Central Asia
  • Paleolithic

OECD FOS+WOS

  • 6.01.BI ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 5.04.BF ANTHROPOLOGY
  • 1.05.LE GEOSCIENCES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY

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