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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2018 year, number 2


A.V. Tabarev
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, 17, Lavrentieva ave., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
Keywords: Северная Монголия, финальный плейстоцен, ранний голоцен, микропластинчатая техника, расщепление, хронология, Northern Mongolia, final Pleistocene, early Holocene, microblade technique, percussion, chronology


The principal goal of the article is to present the characteristic of the most important changes and innovations in lithic technology in Northern Mongolia during the final Pleistocene - early Holocene. Since 2004 the middle Selenga River (Northern Mongolia) has been in the permanent focus of the Stone Age research. The greatest significance are materials of so-called “Tolbor Paleolithic complex” with the stratified sites Tolbor 4, Tolbor 15, Tolbor 16, Tolbor 17, Tolbor 21, Tolbor Paleolithic Cache, and Kharganyn-Gol 5. The most attention is given to the problem of the early Upper Paleolithic - its dating, issues of local or import origins of the blade industry, sub-periodization, and correlation with the synchronous lithic industries in Altai Region, Transbaikalia, and Northern China. The appearance of microblade technology in the Paleolithic of Northern Mongolia is documented, first of all, with the wedge-shaped microcores, which were explored by a pressure technique. The pilot signal of this technique (microcore) is known at Tolbor 15 in Horizon 5 with the AMS data 28460±310 (AA-84137). Later, at Tolbor 15, in Horizons 4-3 (15 - 14 000 BP) and Horizon 2 (13 - 11 000 BP) wedge-shaped microcores are represented in more sophisticated modifications - on uni- and bifacial preforms. During the survey in the Ikh-Tulberiin-Gol, Kharganyn-Gol and Altaatyn-Gol River valleys in 2011-2014 it was established that the mobility of ancient groups in the Paleolithic-early Neolithic was not limited only by “Selenga corridor”, but on the contrary, people preferred to use the saddles in the mountain ridges for comfort transition from one river valley to another. We think that from the morphological and typological points of view the microblade technique in the final Paleolithic of Northern Mongolia demonstrates more similarities not with the Transbaikalia, but with the complexes archaeologically known in the southern and eastern directions. All these facts confirm the most likely spreading of the pressure microblade technology in the Upper Paleolithic - from Central Asian regions (and Northern Mongolia in particular) to the coastal and island territories of the Far East, while the proposed alternative direction has not been sufficiently substantiated.