The article presents the first results of studies concerning the raw material procurement and fauna exploitation of the Easternmost Neanderthals from the Russian Altai. We investigated the Chagyrskaya Cave - a key-site of the Sibiryachikha Middle Paleolithic variant. The cave is known for a large number of Neanderthal remains associated with the Sibiryachikha techno-complex, which includes assemblages of both lithic artifacts and bone tools. According to our results, a Neanderthal population has used the cave over a few millennia. They hunted juvenile, semi-adult and female bisons in the direct vicinity of the site. Human impact on the paleontological remains provides additional evidence about the exploitation and consumption of at least part of the carcasses at the spot, which is characteristic for a consumption site. The first seasonal data available for the Altai Middle Paleolithic indicates that the death of the animals occurred at the end of the warm season, which corresponds to the annual migration of the Bison priscus from the plains to the Altai foothills. The results of the attribute analysis of lithic artifacts suggest that raw pebbles from the nearby riverbed had been transported to the cave in one piece. The spatial data, the large amounts of lithic tools, the presence of bones with cut marks as well as the quantity of bone tools indicate a high intensity of the cave occupations. The composition of the artifact assemblage from Chagyrskaya Cave is characterized by a relatively high percentage of tools and debitage and a low percentage of cores and bifacial tools. The large number of cortical flakes, a significant number of partly cortical flakes (including different varieties of debordant core-trimming elements), as well as the presence of bifacial thinning flakes and chips are a clear indication of on-site core reduction and tool production. The metrical parameters of the cortical and non-cortical regular flakes testify to the complete reduction sequence on the site. In order to produce tools, the biggest blanks available have been chosen intentionally. The results obtained from the assemblage from Chagyrskaya Cave do not fit to the existing functional variability of the Altai Middle Paleolithic, which was dominated by "ephemeral" hunting camps and base camps with relatively low-intensive raw material utilization. The techno-typological characteristics of the Chagyrskaya Cave assemblage are completely consistent with the characteristics of the Crimean Micoquian techno-complex, which is an integral part of the European Micoquian. With regard to the settlement pattern, Chagyrskaya Cave is typical for a recurrently visited base camp with the exploitation and consumption of animal carcasses and an intensive lithic reduction as well as bone tool production. Such a site function demonstrates a considerable overlap with the Eastern and Central European Micoquian.
|Переведенное название||Exploitation of the natural environment by Neanderthals from Chagyrskaya Cave (Altai)|
|Журнал||Quartar International Yearbook for Ice Age and Stone Age Research|
|Состояние||Опубликовано - 2019|
Предметные области OECD FOS+WOS
- 6.01 ИСТОРИЯ И АРХЕОЛОГИЯ