ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

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

Report on Anthropological Finds on the Paleolithic Site Tuyana in the Tunka Rift Valley (Southwestern Cis-Baikal)

S. V. Vasilyev, S. B. Borutskaya, E. O. Rogovskoi, N. E. Berdnikova, E. A. Lipnina, I. M. Berdnikov
Despite more than 100-year history of the study, in the Paleolithic of Baikal Siberia the human remains being are known only from the Malta site. They are represented by the burial of 2 children with dating ~24 ka cal BP and the tooth of an adult individual. In 2016, in the Tunka Valley (southwestern flank of the Baikal rift zone), an area of 5,000 m2 the Paleolithic Site Tuyana was excavated. In the redeposited strata of MIS 3, along with fauna remains, the Aurignacoid stone and bone industry, 10 fragmented bones of the human lower limbs were found. They were located in a compact cluster, with the exception of two fragments, removed at 10-12 m up the slope from the main group. The most interesting for study are the fragment of the tibia, the left cuboid bone with a large blind hole (possibly of artificial origin), a fragment of the distal phalanx of the first finger of the left foot and two fragments of calcaneal bones (one of them is gracile in appearance and could belong to a woman). Radiocarbon dates obtained from faunal remains from excavations in 2010–2011, allow us to determine the age of Tuyana archaeological complexes in the interval of ~41.9–30 ka cal BP. The dates for the two human bones give an even greater range. One of them was older than 49.7 ka cal BP, the other is dated by the period of 31.4–30.7 ka cal BP. Thus, their age as a whole can be determined within the framework of the Karga interstadial (MIS 3), where two stages are distinguished – early and late one. The C/Natomic indices for both samples are within the normal range, so we can talk about the correctness of the results. The data on the ratio of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (13C/12C, 15N/14N) for a younger sample are generally close to those for a number of Upper Paleolithic anthropological finds in Siberia and Europe. The results obtained for the ancient human bone look ambiguous. The value of δ15N is equal to 5,1 ‰, and this is an unusually low indicator for the human body. At the moment it is difficult to say with what fact it is connected, as we did not have an opportunity to compare the data on this sample and the fauna complex of Tuyana (for lack of their absence in the known publications). We believe that most of the anthropological remains of Tuyana are related to the Aurignacoid complexes. In the near future, their study, obviously, will allow us to make significant adjustments to our understanding of the human development of Northern Asia in the Upper Pleistocene.
Baikal Siberia, Tunka valley, Tuyana site, Upper Paleolithic, Aurignacoid industry, anthropological remains

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