Journal article

The earliest evidence for Upper Paleolithic occupation in the Armenian Highlands at Aghitu-3 Cave

  • Kandel, Andrew W. The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Gasparyan, Boris Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia
  • Allué, Ethel Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain - Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
  • Bigga, Gerlinde Department of Geology, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Bruch, Angela A. The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Cullen, Victoria L. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Frahm, Ellery Yale Initiative for the Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, United States - Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Peabody Museum, Cambridge, United States
  • Ghukasyan, Robert Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia
  • Gruwier, Ben Department of Anthropology, Durham University, United Kingdom - Department of Experimental Anatomy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Jette, Belgium
  • Jabbour, Firas The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Miller, Christopher E. Department of Geoarchaeology, Institute of Archaeological Science, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Taller, Andreas Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Vardazaryan, Varduhi Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Vasilyan, Davit Department of Geology, University of Tübingen, Germany - JURASSICA Museum, Porrentruy, Switzerland - Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Weissbrod, Lior Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel
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    01.09.2017
Published in:
  • Journal of Human Evolution. - 2017, vol. 110, no. Supplement C, p. 37–68
English With its well-preserved archaeological and environmental records, Aghitu-3 Cave permits us to examine the settlement patterns of the Upper Paleolithic (UP) people who inhabited the Armenian Highlands. We also test whether settlement of the region between ∼39–24,000 cal BP relates to environmental variability. The earliest evidence occurs in archaeological horizon (AH) VII from ∼39–36,000 cal BP during a mild, moist climatic phase. AH VI shows periodic occupation as warm, humid conditions prevailed from ∼36–32,000 cal BP. As the climate becomes cooler and drier at ∼32– 29,000 cal BP (AH V-IV), evidence for occupation is minimal. However, as cooling continues, the deposits of AH III demonstrate that people used the site more intensively from ∼29–24,000 cal BP, leaving behind numerous stone artifacts, faunal remains, and complex combustion features. Despite the climatic fluctuations seen across this 15,000-year sequence, lithic technology remains attuned to one pattern: unidirectional reduction of small cores geared towards the production of bladelets for tool manufacture. Subsistence patterns also remain stable, focused on medium-sized prey such as ovids and caprids, as well as equids. AH III demonstrates an expansion of social networks to the northwest and southwest, as the transport distance of obsidian used to make stone artifacts increases. We also observe the addition of bone tools, including an eyed needle, and shell beads brought from the east, suggesting that these people manufactured complex clothing and wore ornaments. Remains of micromammals, birds, charcoal, pollen, and tephra relate the story of environmental variability. We hypothesize that UP behavior was linked to shifts in demographic pressures and climatic changes. Thus, by combining archaeological and environmental data, we gain a clearer picture about the first UP inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Paleontology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/306097
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