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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.342-348

УДК 903

Paleolithic Assemblages from the Kurchum Location in the Southern Altai: New Evidence

Shunkov M.V., Taimagambetov Zh.K., Kozlikin M.B., Kandyba A.V.

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The research conducted in the East Kazakhstan region by the joint Russian-Kazakhstan expedition, with the participation of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAET SB RAS) and the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have made it possible to collect surface archaeological materials attributed to different periods of the Stone Age from Kurchum situated on the right bank of the Bukhtarma reservoir. The sources of high-quality stone raw materials associated with both bedrock outcrops and ancient reworked pebble deposits were identified near Mount Aktobe, whereas the artifacts were exposed on the slopes of the mountain. High-quality raw materials seem to have repeatedly attracted human attention to this place in the Middle and Upper Pleistocene. Few areas with concentrations of lithic artifacts confined to erosive landforms, such as upland meadows, watershed ridges, and the remains of ancient red-colored sediments were examined. The Lower Paleolithic assemblage comprises heavily eroded and patinated artifacts produced from porphyritic igneous rocks, including discoid cores, scrapers, denticulate, notched tools, and choppers made on massive flakes. The Middle Paleolithic stone tool industry shows evidence of using the Levallois flaking technique for manufacturing flakes and points. A representative set of various scrapers may be attributed to the same period. Compared to the Lower Paleolithic stone tool industry, this assemblage demonstrates a variety of employed raw materials, including high-quality silicified rocks, and good preservation of lithic artifacts covered with light whitish or pale-gray patina. The Upper Paleolithic lithic tools include edge-faceted, wedge-shaped core for microblades, miniature scrapers produced from high-quality siliceous raw materials, prismatic blades, and tools made on such blades. This research has enabled the establishment of areas wherein lithic artifacts of different cultural and chronological stages of the Paleolithic period were exposed at the location.


Southern Altai, Kurchum, geomorphology, Paleolithic, surface material, lithic artifacts

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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