The alluvial history and sedimentary record of the Priiskovoe site and its place in the Paleolithic prehistory of Siberia

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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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The Priiskovoe site in the Transbaikal Region of Siberia has long been considered one of the most ancient examples of the area's Middle Paleolithic. Priiskovoe and many other regional Paleolithic sites are part of a sequence of alluvial sediments found on or close to valley floor environments. We present several key pieces of evidence to suggest that Priiskovoe and its chipped‐stone assemblage are Upper Paleolithic in age. We examine the depositional history of the Selenga and Chikoi rivers and assess Priiskovoe's stratigraphy, geomorphology, and geochronology to argue that the Paleolithic component is dated around 26,000 14C yr B.P. within a thick buried soil ascribed to the Karginsk Interstadial. We then analyze the lithic material to conclude that the artifacts are characteristically Upper Paleolithic in terms of regional raw material selection, tool frequencies, and core reduction. Although several sites in the Transbaikal are potentially Middle Paleolithic contenders, Priiskovoe is best considered part of Siberia's Upper Paleolithic tradition.


This article was originally published in Geoarchaeology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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