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

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2018. Vol. 24

Preliminary Results of the Use-wear Analysis of Convergent Scrapers and Retouched Points from Chagyrskaya Cave Assemblages

Author(s)
P. V. Volkov, A. V. Shalagina, K. A. Kolobova, S. V. Markin
Abstract

The Middle Paleolithic of Northern Eurasia has recently been in the focus of scientific interests due to the simultaneous coexistence of several subspecies of ancient hominins. Accordingly, the study of the Middle Paleolithic lithic complexes is particularly relevant, as it adds the new important details for the reconstruction of the Denisovans and Neanderthals subsistence strategies. This article discusses the preliminary results of 16 specimens sample use-wear analysis. The sample includes convergent scrapers and retouched points from the Chagyrskaya Cave (North-Western Altai), a key site of the Sibiryachikha variant of Altai Middle Paleolithic. The lithic, bone tools and zooarchaeological assemblages of this industrial variant are associated exclusively with the Neanderthal anthropological subspecies. The chronological framework for the Chagyrskaya Cave Middle Paleolithic assemblages fits within the period of the end of MIS 4 – the beginning of MIS 3. Use-wear analysis of the tool surfaces showed a good safety of microscopic wear traces and allowed to make the conclusions about the tools functional purpose. Most of the convergent tools from the layers 6C/1, 6C/2 were used as meat knives. Two of the retouched points were used as perforators. Comparison of technologically significant characteristics of knives and perforators, determined by use-wear analysis, showed that in the Chagyrskaya Cave assemblages the perforators are tools typologically attributed to the retouched points with unextended intensively retouched blades occupying 1/4 to 1/5 of the edge length. The angle of blank termination of such tools in the horizontal and vertical profile is approximately the same and ranges from 40 to 50°. All other convergent tools (retouched points and scrapers) were used as knives according to preliminary data. The results based of the preliminary sample analysis did not allow us to reveal regularities associated with the morphology of convergent tools and functional determination due to its small number. Since the tools from the Chagyrskaya Cave assemblages show a good safety of micro-traces and a high rate of wear (both perforators and knives), further increasing of the sample number is planned in order to establish the direct dependencies between the morphological features and function of convergent tools.

About the Authors

Volkov Pavel Vladimirovich, Doctor of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation; Novosibirsk State University; 1, Pirogov st., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: volkov100@yandex.ru 

Shalagina Alena Vladimirovna, Junior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: aliona.shalagina@yandex.ru 

Kolobova Ksenia Anatolievna, Doctor of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: kolobovak@yandex.ru 

Markin Sergei Vasilievich, Doctor of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: markin@archaeology.nsc.ru

For citation

Volkov P. V., Shalagina A. V., Kolobova K. A., Markin S. V. Preliminary Results of the Use-wear Analysis of Convergent Scrapers and Retouched Points from Chagyrskaya Cave Assemblages. Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2018, Vol. 24, pp. 23–38. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.24.23 (in Russ.)

Keywords
North-Western Altai, Middle Paleolithic, Chagyrskaya cave, tracological analysis, convergent instruments
UDC
902.01+902.02
DOI
https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.24.23
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