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

Lithic Technology of the Middle Upper Paleolithic in Northern Mongolia (cultural horizon 2 of Tolbor 21 site): Problem Statement

E. P. Rybin, G. D. Pavlenok, A. M. Khatsenovich, D. V. Marchenko, B. Gunchinsuren

Upper Paleolithic complexes of Northern Mongolia are chronologically determined, and represent the cultural sequence with changes, which could be stemmed from gradual evolution as well as migrations of population. The Late Upper Paleolithic was preceded by chronostratigraphic lacuna in 26–16 ka BP, when no one unequivocal evidence of human presence in Northern Mongolia was found. Following this, it is important to define the common features of the Late Upper Paleolithic and antecedent local complexes, as well as synchronous assemblages of neighboring Russian Transbaikalia for understanding of character of the cultural continuity/discontinuity in Mongolian Upper Paleolithic. The cultural shifts observed in archeological sequences document some of these events. Here we consider the complex from cultural layer 2 of Tolbor 21 site, situated in Northern Mongolia. Based on stratigraphic situation of this complex and its correlation to culturally similar objects we relate it to the middle stage of Upper Paleolithic, finding out first time for the territory of Northern Mongolia. Its industry can be dated to the final Karginian interstadial – early Sartan stadial. This complex is characterized by dominance of unidirectional parallel reduction of flat and subprismatic cores for flake and blade production. Tool assemblage contains scrapers, end-scrapers and perforators. Also there is a small blade component, presented by bladelets and microblades, flaked by percussion, and used as the tool blank for such types like borers, backed bladelets and geometric tool – bi-truncated bladelet-trapeze. Complex of horizon 2 is more likely reflecting the early stage of this tradition and has a range of distinctive features. First of all, the small subprismatic cores are absent, but that can be explained by functional factor, when cores were taken away from the settlement to be used somewhere else, or it can be the consequence of the specific reduction technology, aimed to knapping of large cores, transported from the closest raw material outcrops. This variant of cultural complex did not developed in a further time. Final Upper Paleolithic complexes presents pressure microblade technology.

About the Authors

Rybin Evgenii Pavladievich, Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: rybep@yandex.ru 

Khatsenovich Arina Mikhailovna, Junior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: archeomongolia@gmail.com 

Pavlenok Galina Dmitrievna, Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Acad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: lukianovagalina@yandex.ru 

Marchenko Daria Valerievna, Postgraduate, Novosibirsk State University; 1, Pirogov st., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: dasha-smychagina@yandex.ru

Gunchinsuren Byambaa, Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of History and Archaeology of Academy of Science of Mongolia; 77, Zhukov st., Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 125, 13343, e-mail: bgunchinsuren@yahoo.com

For citation

Rybin E. P., Pavlenok G. D., Khatsenovich A. M., Marchenko D. V., Gunchinsuren B. Lithic Technology of the Middle Upper Paleolithic in Northern Mongolia (cultural horizon 2 of Tolbor 21 site): Problem Statement. Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2018, Vol. 24, pp. 39–60. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.24.39 (in Russ.)

Central Asia, Mongolia, Middle Upper Paleolithic, lithic technology

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