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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.287-293

УДК 902.02

Location of Geometric Microlith Assemblages in the Paleolithic Cultural Chronological Sequence of Mongolia

Khatsenovich A.M., Rybin E.P.

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Abstract

The spread of geometric microliths, the culturally remarkable types, are associated with the dispersal of populations, the bearers of material culture with specific hunting activity. Microliths usage supposes new kinds of hunting skills and other hunting targets. Trapezes and segments spread in Southeastern Asia about 48,000 cal BP and were associated with the migration of Homo sapiens through the rainforests out of Africa. Geometric microliths appeared in the western part of Central Asia much later, about 30,000 BP, and had connections with the Near East Paleolithic cultures. Previously, it has been supposed that the easternmost boundary of geometric microliths dispersal was situated in the territories of the western Central Asia in Upper Paleolithic and shifted further east in the Mesolithic. For the last several years, intensive excavations in the Middle Selenga Basin revealed geometric microliths typologically described as trapezes and segments. These items are not numerous for each archaeological assemblage, but they have been found at four Paleolithic sites. It suggests the multiple occupational episodes by the bearers of this tradition in the Middle Selenga area. We publish the segments for the first time and try to determine the chronological boundaries of the time span, when geometric microliths existed in Mongolia, taking into account the new dates. New chronology indicates the possible first appearance of these tool types in Upper Paleolithic assemblages in the pre-LGM time. It might change the concept of Upper Paleolithic in Mongolia as gradually evolved industry before LGM and further depopulation in the region. Geometric microliths are absent in Upper Paleolithic of neighboring regions and mark the northernmost boundary of their dispersal.

Keywords

Northern Mongolia, Upper Paleolithic, chronology, geometric microliths, segments, trapezes

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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

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