«BULLETIN OF THE IRKUTSK STATE UNIVERSITY. GEOARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, AND ANTHROPOLOGY SERIES»
ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2017. Vol. 22

Ecological Approach in the Prism of Source Study

Author(s)
A. N. Sorokin
Abstract
The problem of human development of the territory of Central Russia in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene, mostly due to the absence of well-stratified and fully studied monuments, remains very relevant. This is not the first time that S. S. Lisitsyn speaks on this matter. The reason for the appearance of this review was the publication in the journal «Stratum plus» of his program article “The Ecological Approach to the Periodization of the Final Paleolithic and Early Mesolithic in the Upper Volga Region”. Of all the diversity of the Final Paleolithic and Mesolithic cultures of Central Russia (Resseta, Bromme-Lyngby, Ahrensburg, Podolsk, Valdai, Zadnepilevo, Kultino, Purgasovo) and more than two and a half thousand monuments, S. N. Lisitsyn depicted only three points that have been chosen to create their periodization: Vashana, Zolotoruchie 1 and Stanovoe 4, that, to his mind, are related to the tradition of cultures with cilia heads of arrows. The strangeness of such a choice is evident from the fact that there are no such tips at all in two of the three site lots (Vashana and Zolotoruchie 1). Source analysis of the data underlying his research shows that to the “reference” complexes (Vashana, Zolotoruchie 1 and Stanovoe 4) were consciously attributed properties that they do not really have. It was established that all basic characteristics of geoarchaeological objects of the Volga-Oka interfluve have been subjected to this procedure, which were selected by the author as support for the development of their periodization, including stratigraphy of sediments, technology of splitting stone implements, sets of artifacts, palynological definitions and radiocarbon dates. The foundations of such an approach, known in the literature as a “method of improving the quality of sources”, were laid in the 1960s and 1980s by L. V. Koltsov and developed in the 1990–2010s by M. G. Zhilin during the collection of materials to the candidate and doctoral dissertations. This can only be countered by one – professional criticism of the source. To understand the real age and periodization of the archeological cultures of Central Russia, we should rely on materials of fully studied multilayered geoarchaeological objects.
Keywords
Central Russia, Pleistocene, Holocene, Final Paleolithic, Mesolithic, geoarcheological sources, criticism
UDC
903(470)"633"
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