Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.123-128

УДК 902

Study of Middle Paleolithic Complexes in the Darvagchay Geoarchaeological Area in 2019

Kandyba A.V.

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Northeastern Caucasus and particularly the Coastal Dagestan, was one of the Neanderthal refugiums in Eurasia. The Darvagchay cluster of the Middle Paleolithic sites, which was discovered in the last decade, has given the evidence of longterm existence of Neanderthal populations. Excavation works of 2019 were intended for obtaining more archaeological evidence and solving the problem of chronology of the lithic industries through OSL-sampling and dating. Series of test pits made at the Darvagchay zaliv 1 site with asynchronous Middle Paleolithic complexes has enriched the collection of lithic industry confined to buried paleosoil which was dated to the Mikulinsky interglacial period according to paleomagnetic data, and lithic assemblage with the Final Middle Paleolithic features. The assemblage found in paleosoil can be described as typical Levallois flake industry with the Mousterian tool types. Surface material associated with the Final Middle Paleolithic demonstrates the advanced Levallois flake technology, which is confirmed by the presence of tool blanks produced in this system of reduction. Large-scale excavations at the multilayered site of Darvagchay zaliv 4 have made it possible to obtain not very numerous, but representative collection of Middle Paleolithic artifacts. The advanced Levallois flake technology aimed at producing flakes which have been found in the tool assemblage, and intensive faceting of the striking platforms manifest the Mousterian appearance of this industry. Judging by the occurrence of lithological deposits and hypsometric marks, as well as comprehensive analysis of technological and typological features of the lithic industries, this Middle Paleolithic complex could have been synchronous to the archaeological evidence found in paleosoil of the Darvagchay zaliv 1 site. Additional sampling for OSL-dating makes it possible to establish the chronological markers for cultural and chronological intervals of the Middle Paleolithic and include the evidence from the Darvagchay geoarchaeological area into the cultural evolution of Neanderthal populations.


Caucasus, Middle Paleolithic, Levallois knapping system, methods of dating

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences