Emergence of a microlithic complex in the Transbaikal Region of southern Siberia

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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Upper Paleolithic stone artifact microlithization embodied a change in tool design and production that noticeably impacted northeast Asian prehistory. Here we trace the process of microlithization in the Transbaikal Region of southern Siberia using core reduction event-trees and morphometric analysis of cores and their by-products. Microtechnology emerges in the Transbaikal in the Middle Upper Paleolithic just prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in the form of highly variable microcores with small flakes and blades, and possibly sporadic pressure flaking and slotted tools. This variability indicates an experimental period in microlithic technology. After a 2000-year gap in the occupational record, a highly standardized microblade technological complex consisting of wedge-shaped microblade cores, pressure flaking, microblades, and slotted osseous tools appears in the Transbaikal as a fully adopted system. This evidence suggests that microtechnologies developed within the Transbaikal just prior to and during the LGM, underwent refinement outside of the region for roughly 2000 years, then was brought into the region during the LGM with flintknappers as a fully adopted system.


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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