Radiocarbon dates, microblades and Late Pleistocene human migrations in the Transbaikal, Russia and the Paleo-Sakhalin-Hokkaido-Kuril Peninsula

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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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We compare late Pleistocene archaeological 14C databases from the Transbaikal, Russia and the Paleo-Sakhalin-Hokkaido-Kuril Peninsula (PSHK) to the appearance and disappearance of microblade technology for evidence of human migration. In the Transbaikal, we identify as many as three events at 24,830, 22,740, and ∼15,000 cal bp, respectively. On the PSHK, we see migration at ∼26,800, and likely again at ∼13,000 cal bp. We offer an explanation for the Last Glacial Maximum origin of northeast Asian microblades that reconciles several major points of current competing theories. The later migration signals in both areas are weaker and associated with terminal Pleistocene (Bølling-Allerød-Younger Dryas) environmental changes at the beginning of the Mesolithic Period in the Transbaikal and the Incipient-Jomon Period on PSHK. In the former, the second migration event may have been repopulation of an empty or sparsely inhabited area. In the latter, it appears to be population replacement when microblades completely disappear from the Peninsula without a reduction in the number of 14C dates.


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

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Quaternary International


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