In world archaeology, there has always been a problem regarding the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. Late twentieth-century research has attempted to address this issue through the recognition of Initial Upper Palaeolithic (IUP) lithic industries. These assemblages were first characterised through evidence from the sites of Boker Tachtit and Ksar Akil (the Levant), and they are now identified in many regions of Eurasia, including Central Asia, the Near East, the Altai Mountains, Transbaikalia, Mongolia and northern China. A characteristic IUP assemblage has also been recently found in Kazakhstan (Ushbulak-1) (Shunkov et al. 2016). Large blades and elongated pointed flakes dominate these assemblages, and there is a prevalence of Upper Palaeolithic tool types in tool sets.
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