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ISSN: 2690-5752

Journal of Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences

Research Article(ISSN: 2690-5752)

Recent data on the initial Acheulian occupation of the South Caucasus in the Early Pleistocene Volume 3 - Issue 1

Elena Belyaeva*

  • Paleolithic Department, Institute for the history of material culture, St-Petersburg, Russia

Received: September 18, 2020   Published: November 03, 2020

Corresponding author: Elena Belyaeva, Archaeology PhD, senior researcher of the Paleolithic Department, Institute for the history of material culture, St-Petersburg, Russia

DOI: 10.32474/JAAS.2020.03.000151


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For a long time all the data indicated that in the Early Pleistocene the South Caucasus was briefly inhabited by Oldowan people (Dmanisi site, ~1,8 MYR), whereas the Acheulian tool-makers appeared in the region only in the Middle Pleistocene. However, studies conducted recently in Armenia, South Caucasus revealed there two Early Pleistocene sites with Early Acheulian industries including around 4000 artifacts. On the basis of U-PB dating and paleomagnetic readings the key Karakhach site was attributed to the Olduvai subchron (1.95-1.78 MYR). The second site named Muradovo has no absolute dates but must be synchronous to Karakhach because of their similarities in both deposits and lithic industry. To judge by scarce paleoecological evidence these sites were occupied in conditions of subtropical climate and periodical volcanic ashfall. Almost all the Early Acheulian artifacts were made of natural slab-like pieces of local rhyodacite. Cores and flakes are rather rare. The large tools are dominated by pics, choppers and crude handaxes. There are also certain special tool types that along with very old age of the considered Early Acheulian industries suggest their local an autonomous appearance.

Keywords:South Caucasus; Early Pleistocene; Early Acheulian occupation

Abstract| Introduction| Materials and Methods| Concluding Remarks| Acknowledgments| References|