Grants / RFBR 08-06-00061

Project completed.
RFBR # 08-06-00061

Influence of extreme natural and climatic transformations on cultural adaptation processes in the Paleolithic of the Caspian basin.

Using interdisciplinary research (paleomagnetic, high resolution stratigraphy, lithology, palinology, paleontology of mollusks and large and small mammals etc.) new data and conclusions concerning of Early Man environment in the Caspian basin region was obtained.

First absolute age of the oldest in North Eurasia oldovan

archaeological sites Ainikab and Muhkai (Dagestan, Akusha region) was established on the base of paleomagnetic and biostratigraphic data. It was recovered paleomagnetic event Garamilo in the top of Ainikab section, age which is more 1,2 mln years. Palinological data and Apsheronean marine microplancton as well as large mammal fauna confirm these date and move date of beginning oldovan Early Man initial settling to 1,5 Ц 1,8 mln years, just one million year earlier than was known before.

That time mentioned archeological sites located much lower than present on the highs 300-500 m asl. on foothills. Later they were uplifted by tectonic movements to high mountain Caucasus zone to recent level 1500-1800 m asl.

On the base of the High Resolution Stratigraphy techniques sea level change and history of the Hvalynean basin was reconstructed. It was recovered 26 sedimentary cycles Ц eustalithes - related to sea level oscillations and detected in terraces, shelf and deep water sediments. There are 4 stage of Hvalynean transgression: Rising stage (Hypohvalynean), Maximal (Epyhvalynean), Transition (Mezohvalynean) and Lowering (Neohvalynean). These stages complicated by 26 sea level oscillations of the Hvalynean basin. This oscillations reflected water discharge change in the Caspian river watershed, especially during superfloods, when annual river flow was many times more then recent.

Was recovered 3 superflood waves are synchronous with 3 stage of Hvalynean transgressions.

New Late Paleolithic site San-Manych on the northern coast of Manych-Gudilo lake was recovered and studied. In the same layer was studied new unique mammal fauna site and mollusk shells of Hvalynean age (12,4 ka BP). Reconstructed landscape is closed to periglacial steppe and forest-steppe on the coast of Manych embayment of Hvalynean basin.

It was recovered influence of extreme hydrological and climatic events on early man in the Paleolithic. Big reservoirs of the Cascade of Eurasian Basins, particularly Manych-Kerch strait (spillway), seems as an effective barriers for expending of archeological cultures of Middle and Late Paleolithic. It was formed aboriginal reserve of Neanderthal tribes in the Caspian and Central Asia during Final Paleolithic.

New field and analytical data obtained in 2009 concerning of chronology and environment reconstructions on Paleolithic sites was obtained in Daghestan (Ainikab, Muhkai, Almalo, Manas), Manych Valley (San-Manych, Yulovscy), Kalmykia (Iki-Chonos, Zunda-Tolga), Ciscaspian (mt. B.Bogdo) was obtained.

New paleomagnetical and paleobotanical results proved much older age of the Oldovan culture in Site Ainikab-1as a Early Eopleistocene or Late Pliocene (1,5-2,0 mln. years). The oldest fire place spot in Eurasia was recovered on the base of charcoal analyses and fire influence. Environment of oldovan site reowered (vegetation and landscape).

High resolution stratigraphy of Khvalynean basin was elaborated with resolution 200-300 years. It was recovered 500-eyars eustatic cycles of sea level changes (euxtaliths). On the base of GIS-technologies morphometric characteristics of 9 stages of Kvalynean basin was calculated: water space, water volume, shore line lenght.

Position of Paleolithc sites within Caspiam marine terraces and environment changes was reconstructed. Fossil soils of Khvalynean marine sediments was studied and dated (radiocarbon method) in paleolithic sites San-Manych, Iki-Chonos, Almalo, Manas.

On the base of field work materials obtained in 2008 multidisciplinary laboratory processing of culture layers from paleolithic sites of oldovanian cilture (site Ainikab) ashelian culture (Darvagchai), moustierian (Manasozen) and Late Paleolithic (Yulovskaia) was done. From site Ainikab sedimentalogical, palinological, phitolithic and paleomagnetic study was provide. It was recovered paleomagnetic event Garamillo (1.1 - 1.2 mln years) within Matujama reversel epoch.

On the base of palinological data paleolandscape and environment of ancient people was reconstructed. Age of this site established between 1,2-2,0 as the oldest paleolithic site in Northern Eurasia.

In asheulean site Darvagchai sedimentological and paleontological (molusc fauna) analyses permitted to reconstruct age (bakunian stage) and nearshore beach environment, very dinamic due to quick sea level rise during bakunian transgression. Detail study of Hvalynean marine terrases with moustierian tools on the surface recovered 10 terasses levels and sea levels highstands.

Section of upper Paleolithic site Yulovskaya was studied by sedimentological, palinological, paleontological (molluscs, mammals) ans isotopic methods. Four C14 dates from 24 ka to 15 ka BP obtaned. Ancient people settled on four habitant layers from the Brjansk interstadial to the end of Pleistocene (Epipaleolithic).