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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.282-285

УДК 902.01

Paleolithic Complexes of the Northern Aral Sea Region (West Kazakhstan)

Chekha A.M.

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Abstract

Large number of sites representing all stages of the Stone Age from the Acheulian to the Chalcolithic have been discovered and studied in Kazakhstan. However, the exploration degree of these sites in different regions of Kazakhstan is uneven. This is primarily associated with the predominance of arid conditions which impede the process of active sedimentation, resulting in the emergence of archaeological sites with the superficial occurrence of evidence, such as Paleolithic sites of Aral A-D, Aral - 1-2, -4-6, -8 in the Northern Aral Sea region in West Kazakhstan. This study was mainly focused on cultural and chronological assessment of the Aral A-D, Aral 1-2, -4-6, -8 sites with surface occurrence of artifacts, using technical, typological, and petrographic analysis of lithic artifacts found at these sites. The sites of Aral A-D and Aral-1-2, -4-6, -8 are distinguished by the lack of Levallois cores and laminar blanks in primary reduction. These assemblages mostly contained prismatic cores of parallel reduction in their planar and volumetric varieties. Narrow-faced and discoid cores have been found more rarely. The toolkit contained high share of bifaces, and showed the presence of side-scrapers, denticulate and notched tools, combined objects, and Upper Paleolithic types of tools (end-scrapers), produced by trimming and retouching. Marginal scaly, in most cases dorsal abrupt and semi-abrupt retouching of medium and small sizes was used as secondary treatment. Evaluating the results of studying the Paleolithic sites on the northern coast of the Aral Sea, it should be concluded that the sites of Aral A-D, Aral -1-2, -4-6, -8 were mixed complexes with main material evidence most likely associated with the Final Middle-Upper Paleolithic. Based on morphological analysis, a part of the collections can be attributed to the earlier stages of the Paleolithic.

Keywords

West Kazakhstan, North Aral Sea region, arid zone, surface occurrence of artifacts, Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
E-mail: sbornik.iaet@gmail.com