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Haesaerts P.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Damblon F.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Drozdov N.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Checha V.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | And 2 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2014

The chronology of long Upper Pleistocene loess sequences in Eurasia is based on combined pedostratigraphy and radiocarbon dating of high-quality charcoal. The accuracy of such a chronology depends on the reproducibility and precision of the 14C dates. However, certain dates may show discrepancies with regard to their chronostratigraphic context based on series of coherent dates. In order to evaluate the consistency and variation in the 14C dates obtained from small charcoal pieces, this question was tested on a set of spruce wood remains with well-preserved tree rings found in the Middle Pleniglacial loess-loam sequence of Kurtak (central Siberia). Tree-ring analysis of five fairly large wood pieces from three successive layers, dated to about 30.0, 30.8, and 32.2-32.5 ka BP previously, was done by continuous sampling of 90-150 rings on each wood piece. This enabled direct comparison of the succession of tree rings with the 14C dates. A total of 133 dates was obtained for the five wood pieces. The results show fluctuations in the 14C dates within a time range between 1000 and 2000 yr. Four possible causes for such variation will be discussed herein: (1) internal variability of the AMS dating method; (2) outliers; (3) variations in the 14C background; and (4) external factors such as past atmospheric 14C variations. © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Haesaerts P.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Borziac I.,Institute of Archaeology | Chekha V.P.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Chirica V.,Institute of Archaeology | And 6 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2010

The present paper concerns long Upper Pleistocene loess sequences from Eastern Europe with multiple Upper Palaeolithic occupations, rich in charcoal, as well as loess sequences from Central Siberia with abundant wood remains. These complementary records have allowed establishing a high-resolution climatic sequence integrating 24 interstadial episodes between ca 42.5 and 10 kyr BP. Here, we discuss the methodology of dating used to fix the chronological framework of this climatic sequence, based on a set of 240 available radiocarbon dates, mainly produced on charcoal and wood remains. Special attention is paid to the strategy of sampling charcoal and wood material in strict accordance with stratigraphy, as well as to the preparation process in the laboratory for extraction, cleaning, identification and selection of the best fragments to date. Careful stratigraphic drawing and detailed positioning of the samples for each geological layer are also considered in order to clarify the relationship of the obtained dates with respect to any sedimentary, pedological or archaeological event to be dated. The reliability and accuracy of the dates obtained from loess sequences are further controlled by the internal consistency with regard to stratigraphy. Palaeoenvironmental implications are also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Rudaya N.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Rudaya N.,Novosibirsk State University | Rudaya N.,Altai State University | Rudaya N.,Kazan Federal University | And 7 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2015

The Altai Mountains, situated in the middle of Asia, have been inhabited by human groups since prehistoric times. Many Middle Palaeolithic sites (open-air sites and caves) are located in the northwestern part of the Altai Mountains. The uniqueness of this area is in the simultaneous habitation of different human species, such as Neanderthals, Sapiens and Denisovians. The material culture of the Altai Middle Palaeolithic is mostly homogeneous; however, two caves are distinguished from other sites-Okladnikov Cave and the recently studied Chagyrskaya Cave, located in the Charysh River valley. Palaeolithic assemblages from both caves are comparable with the Mousterian industries recorded in certain regions of Eurasia and represent a special variant of the Altai Middle Palaeolithic industries, known as the Sibiryachikha facies. Anthropological data from these caves suggest that the Sibiryachikha variant was associated with Neanderthals. In this study, we reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental conditions of the period of the Neanderthals settlement in the northwestern part of the Altai Mountains based on bioproxies, such as pollen records and large mammal remains. The time of the Neanderthals settlement of Chagyrskaya Cave is attributed to the termination of MIS4 and is characterised by an arid and continental climate. Dry steppe communities were widespread in the Charysh River valley. It is possible that the Chagyrskaya Cave represents a long-term hunting camp where butchering and processing of game animals were carried out. In the following warmer and more humid period the Neanderthals left the cave. This was around the same time when anatomically modern humans began appearing in Western Siberia. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Rudaya N.,Novosibirsk State University | Protopopov A.,Sakha Academy of science Yakutia | Trofimova S.,Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology | Plotnikov V.,Sakha Academy of science Yakutia | Zhilich S.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology | Year: 2015

In August 2010, a well-preserved Mammuthus primigenius carcass was found along the coast of Oyogos Yar in the region of the Laptev Sea and the mummy was nicknamed 'Yuka'. Frozen sediment samples from the area of skull condyles were collected for pollen and plant macrofossil analyses. The results from the palaeobotanical investigation confirmed that the Yuka mammoth lived during the optimum of the Kargin Interstadial (MIS3). The burial place of the mammoth could have been a small shallow freshwater pond with either stagnant or slowly moving water. The vegetation of the Oyogos Yar in MIS3 optimum was probably represented by zonal tundra-steppe combined with mesic-xeric meadows. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Hovsepyan R.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Stepanyan-Gandilyan N.,Institute of Botany | Melkumyan H.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Harutyunyan L.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography
Journal of Ethnic Foods | Year: 2016

Background: The traditional food of the Yezidis and Kurds of Armenia has some particularities and differences compared with the traditional cuisine of Armenians. Methods: Ethnobotanical data collected during fieldworks in 2013-2015 in Armenia via interviews, direct observations and sampling of used plants for identification of species. Results: Traditional dishes of Yezidis and Kurds are simple. They are mostly made from or contain as a main component lamb and milk products (sometimes beef and chicken, but never pork). The main vegetal components of their traditional food are represented by cultivated cereals, grains, and herbs of wild plants. Edible plants gathered from the wild are used primarily for nutritional purposes, for flavoring prepared meals and milk products, and for tea. Discussion: We correlate these distinctions with the transhumant pastoral lifestyle of the Yezidi and Kurdish people. © 2016 The Authors.


Karin Y.G.,Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics | Balkov E.V.,Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics | Pozdnyakova O.A.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography
Geophysics 2014 - 10th EAGE International Scientific and Practical Conference and Exhibition on Engineering and Mining Geophysics | Year: 2014

For a long time archeologists use geophysical methods in exploration of archeological monuments with goal to improve the quality of work and reduce labor costs. in 2013 carried out a field investigation in polytypic archeological monuments in Vengerovo district, Novosibirsk region, which relate to wide chronological range from the Neolithic to the Early Iron Age: Vengerovo-2, Stariy Tartas-5, Tartas-1, Yashkino-1 (Barabinsk forest-steppe). the most part of archeological and geophysical researches was carried out on the monuments, where have been previously installed instances of discrepancies between archaeological and geophysical data. in really bad conditions for magnetic survey advantages of complex approach allow to designate the prospects of receiving results by electrical prospecting method. in laboratory conditions, was carried out a detailed geochemical study of substance. Obtained results allow to conclude, that hydrogeological characteristics of material at measurements moment influence on archeological objects electromagnetic survey efficacy. To identify objects should be surveyed during significant soil moisture (after rain season or snowmelt).


Dryomov S.V.,Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Nazhmidenova A.M.,Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Shalaurova S.A.,Novosibirsk State University | Morozov I.V.,Novosibirsk State University | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

The patterns of prehistoric migrations across the Bering Land Bridge are far from being completely understood: there still exists a significant gap in our knowledge of the population history of former Beringia. Here, through comprehensive survey of mitochondrial DNA genomes retained in 'relic' populations, the Maritime Chukchi, Siberian Eskimos, and Commander Aleuts, we explore genetic contribution of prehistoric Siberians/Asians to northwestern Native Americans. Overall, 201 complete mitochondrial sequences (52 new and 149 published) were selected in the reconstruction of trees encompassing mtDNA lineages that are restricted to Coastal Chukotka and Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and the Aleutian chain. Phylogeography of the resulting mtDNA genomes (mitogenomes) considerably extends the range and intrinsic diversity of haplogroups (eg, A2a, A2b, D2a, and D4b1a2a1) that emerged and diversified in postglacial central Beringia, defining independent origins of Neo-Eskimos versus Paleo-Eskimos, Aleuts, and Tlingit (Na-Dene). Specifically, Neo-Eskimos, ancestral to modern Inuit, not only appear to be of the High Arctic origin but also to harbor Altai/Sayan-related ancestry. The occurrence of the haplogroup D2a1b haplotypes in Chukotka (Sireniki) introduces the possibility that the traces of Paleo-Eskimos have not been fully erased by spread of the Neo-Eskimos or their descendants. Our findings are consistent with the recurrent gene flow model of multiple streams of expansions to northern North America from northeastern Eurasia in late Pleistocene-early Holocene. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A massive, 1,500-year-old stone complex that may have been built by nomad tribes has been discovered near the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan. The complex contains numerous stone structures sprawled over about 300 acres (120 hectares) of land, or more than 200 American football fields, archaeologists reported recently in the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia. "When the area was examined in detail, several types of stone structures were identified," archaeologists Andrey Astafiev, of the Mangistaus State Historical and Cultural Reserve; and Evgeniï Bogdanov, of the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian Department's Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, wrote in the journal article. The smallest stone structures are only 13 feet by 13 feet (4 by 4 meters), and the biggest are 112 feet by 79 feet (34 by 24 m). [See Photos of the Massive Stone Structure and Artifacts] The structures are "made of stone slabs inserted vertically into the ground," the archaeologists wrote. Some of the stones, which look a little like those at Stonehenge, have carvings of weapons and creatures etched into them. One of the most spectacular finds is the remains of a saddle made partly of silver and covered with images of wild boars, deer and "beasts of prey" that may be lions, Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote in their article. The images were etched in relief, sticking out from the silver background. "The relief decoration was impressed on the front surface," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. The two researchers think ancient artisans designed the images out of leather and glued them onto wooden boards. "Finally, silver plates would have been laid over the shapes and fixed in place," they said. In 2010, a man named F. Akhmadulin (as named in the journal article), from a town called Aktau, was using a metal detector in Altÿnkazgan, which is located on the Mangÿshlak Peninsula, near the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, when he found parts of a silver saddle and other artifacts. Akhmadulin brought the artifacts to Astafiev who works in Aktau. [7 Bizarre Ancient Cultures That History Forgot] "Most of the territory consists of sagebrush desert," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. However, Astafiev found that the desert location where Akhmadulin brought him contained the remains of an undiscovered 120-hectare stone complex. Akhmadulin located the artifacts in one of these stone structures. "Unfortunately, the socioeconomic situation in the region is not one in which it is easy to engage in archaeological research, and it was not until 2014 that the authors of this article were able to excavate certain features within the site," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. When excavations got underway in 2014, the archaeologists excavated the stone structure where Akhmadulin had found the saddle. They found more saddle parts, along with other artifacts, including two bronze objects that turned out to be the remains of a whip. A great deal of work needs to be done to excavate and study the remains of the stone complex, the archaeologists said. "Certain features of the construction and formal details of the [stone] enclosures at Altÿnkazgan allow us to assume that they had been left there by nomad tribes," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. The design and decorations on the silver saddle indicate that it dates to a time when the Roman Empire was collapsing, and a group called the "Huns" were on the move across Asia and Europe, they said. "The advance of the Huns led various ethnic groups in the Eurasian steppes to move from their previous homelands," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. The owner of the saddle was likely a person of considerable wealth and power as the archaeologists found symbols called "tamgas" engraved on the silver saddle above the heads of predators, something that can be "an indication of the privileged status of the saddle's owner." These signs may also be a link "to the clan to which the owner of the tamga belonged," Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. It's not exactly clear why the silver saddle was placed in the stone structure, though it may have been created for a ritual purpose or as a burial good, Astafiev and Bogdanov suggested. They found the remains of one skeleton buried beneath the stone structure; however, the skeleton may date to centuries after the silver saddle was deposited there. Research is ongoing, and Bogdanov said the team plans to publish another paper on research into the silver saddle in 2017. Bogdanov said the team hopes to make the public aware of the newly found site. "I hope that one day there [will be] a film about the archaeological excavations on the Mangÿshlak, about ancient civilizations and modern inhabitants," Bogdanov told Live Science.


Gladyshev S.A.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Olsen J.W.,University of Arizona | Tabarev A.V.,Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography | Jull A.J.T.,University of Arizona
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

This article reports on materials excavated and analyzed since 2008 at the multi-component open-air Tolbor-15 Site (Selenge River basin, northern Mongolia). Also discussed are problems of chronology and periodization of the Mongolian Upper Paleolithic based on radiocarbon dating, including new determinations available for the Tolbor-4 and 15 sites, along with associated archaeological materials. The early stage of the Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) in Mongolia persisted for a relatively long period and can be divided into two sub-chrons, the earliest ranging from 40 to 35,000 BP. The later stage of the Mongolian EUP, falling between 33 and 26,000 BP, is represented by assemblages from the Khangai Mountains (e.g., Tolbor-4 and 15, Orkhon-7) and the Gobi Altai district (e.g., Tsagaan Agui Cave, Chikhen Agui Rockshelter, Chikhen-2). The middle Upper Paleolithic in Mongolia has been identified only on the basis of sites in the Orkhon River valley, all of which post-date ca. 25,000 BP. The material culture of this long period is characterized by the complete replacement of blade industries by flake industries, along with the parallel development of the pressure-flaked microblade technique. The later phase of the Mongolian Upper Paleolithic is well-dated down to the end of the Pleistocene. Typical industries include those excavated at Tolbor-15, which are characterized by the predominance of microcores reduced by both pressure and percussion, the appearance of retouched points on flakes, and an increase in the number of microblades as a fraction of overall blade blanks. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.prnewschannel.com

Archaeologists have discovered a 1,500-year-old stone complex built by nomad tribes in Kazakhstan near the Caspian Sea, according to the LiveScience. The slabs of stone may date back 1,500 years and are 13-79 feet tall. Many of them appear with carvings of weapons or creatures. The slabs are strewn on about 300 acres in Kazakhstan along the Caspian Sea. Archaeologists reported the findings in the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia. “When the area was examined in detail, several types of stone structures were identified,” archaeologists Andrey Astafiev, of the Mangistaus State Historical and Cultural Reserve and Evgeniï Bogdanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian Department’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, write in the journal. Where did the mystery stone in Kazakhstan come from? No one knows for sure, but it is incredible. LiveScience writes: “One of the most spectacular finds is the remains of a saddle made partly of silver and covered with images of wild boars, deer and “beasts of prey” that may be lions, Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote in their article. The images were etched in relief, sticking out from the silver background.” “The relief decoration was impressed on the front surface,” Astafiev and Bogdanov wrote. The two researchers think ancient artisans designed the images out of leather and glued them onto wooden boards. “Finally, silver plates would have been laid over the shapes and fixed in place,” they said. In the article, the archaeologists say a lot more work needs to be done regarding the study of the find. But they think nomad tribes are responsible for creating them. “Certain features of the construction and formal details of the [stone] enclosures at Altÿnkazgan allow us to assume that they had been left there by nomad tribes,” Astafiev and Bogdanov write.

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