«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. 21

Technological Context of Production and Splitting the Microblade Cores Based on Materials of Cultural Levels 2B and Site 6 of the Kovrizhka IV (Vitim River, Baikal-Patom’s Upland)

Author(s)
A. V. Tetenkin
Abstract

One of the most important topics in the Upper Paleolithic archaeology of the Eastern Siberia is the method of microblade production. In Lower Vitim Valley and Baikal-Patom’s upland, it is researched on the base of data from the sites Avdeikha, Bolshoi Yakor I, Mamakan IV, Invalidnyi III, Kovrizhka I–IV. The working schema consists of three groups of assemblages consisting bifaces and wedge-shaped microcores of Yubetsu method (Bolshoi Yakor Type of Assemblages), as well as consisting the non-Yubetsu wedge-shaped microcores (Avdeikha Type of Assemblages) and microblade prismatic microcore (Bolshaya Severnaya Type of Assemblages). First two types of assemblages had appeared at ~15.2 ka BP (noncalibrated). Third ones appeared at ~10–9 ka BP. All three types of assemblages co-existed until 7–6 ka BP. The industry of Mamakan IV is estimated as older than others. Excavations of cultural horizons (c. h.) 6 and 2B at site Kovrizhka IV in 2012–2016 allow shedding the new light on the microblade production in the abroad lithic context in Upper Paleolithic of Lower Vitim River and Baikal-Patom’s upland. The radiocarbon age of these new complexes is 15,7–15,3 ka BP (19,2–18,3 ka cal BP). At this moment these cultural horizons are the oldest well-stratified and radiocarbon dated archaeological assemblages on the Vitim River. Both complexes have same forms of wedge-shaped microcores, lithic sources as well as the whole system of lithic splitting. In this article, we analyze 4 microcores from c. h. 6 and 10 microcores from c. h. 2B. Refitting and use-wear analysis were used to research the method of production of the microcores. 11 such cores were made from bifaces, 3 were made from flakes. To prepare the striking platform the actors from the lateral face splitted out the narrow end of the preform. The cores were rejuvenated by removing off the frontal spall and flakes of rejuvenation of striking platform. There were also recorded the methods of rotation of the front to the opposite terminal edge of the core as well as the rotation of the striking platform to the opposite (distal) end of the core. In c. h. 2B there were found the refitted to each other sky-spall and the crest-spall from biface made by Yubetu method. Additionally the existing of this method is supported by the findings of sky-spalls in c. h. 4 and 5 at Kovrizhka IV, older than 14,3 ka BP (noncalibrated). Discussing this “Kovrizhka”-method and Yubetsu-method represented by the data of Bolshoi Yakor I, we suppose the specificity of Yubetsy as the answer to special adaptive conditions and argues for coexisting of both methods in the unit technical culture.

Keywords
Baikal Siberia, Vitim River, Upper Paleolithic, microblade production, wedge-shaped microcores
UDC
903.01 (571.53)
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