Analysis of bone assemblages from the Middle Paleolithic site of Akhstyrskaya Cave in the Caucasus (Russia)

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  • Analysis of bone assemblages from the Middle Paleolithic site of Akhstyrskaya Cave in the Caucasus (Russia)

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Title

Analysis of bone assemblages from the Middle Paleolithic site of Akhstyrskaya Cave in the Caucasus (Russia)

Subject

S7-3, Archaeozoology in Central and Eastern Europe, poster

Description

Abstract:

Akhstyrskaya Cave is situated in the northwestern part of the Southern Caucasus near the city of Sochi. As an archeological site, it has been subject to repeated excavation. The area exposed by S. Kulakov (1996, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007-2008) comprises 9 lithological layers. The lowermost Layers 7-9 contain little archeological and palaeozoological material. Layers 3-6 are assigned to the Middle Paleolithic, and the lower portion of Layer 2 contains Upper Paleolithic industries. The uppermost sediments date to the Holocene. Fossil remains of Ursus deningeri kudarensis predominate in Layers 2-6. Their proportion of the assemblage is roughly 98%. The bones are heavily weathered in Layers 5-6 but better preserved in upper Layer 2. Although long bones are fragmented, many vertebrae and smaller distal limb bones are intact. All skeletal parts are represented, suggesting that the bears died inside the cave. Many teeth are heavily worn. Sexual composition is heavily skewed towards males. Several bones exhibit traces of gnawing, but no signs of human utilization were observed. Kudaro cave bears probably died in the cave primarily during overwintering. Other taxa are scarce, comprising Canis lupus, Panthera pardus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Alces alces, Bison priscus, Ovis orientalis, and Capra caucasica. Their bones also lack diagnostic evidence of human activity. Akhstyrskaya Cave most probably was not a human hunting camp, but was occupied by Pleistocene hominids for other purposes.

Authors:

BARYSHNIKOV Gennady

Affiliations

Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia, ursus@zin.ru

Creator

Baryshnikov, Gennady

Date

August 2010

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Document Item Type Metadata

Citation

Baryshnikov, Gennady. "Analysis of bone assemblages from the Middle Paleolithic site of Akhstyrskaya Cave in the Caucasus (Russia) ," in BoneCommons, Item #962, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/962 (accessed August 7, 2020).

License

Creative Commons License

File: Baryshnikov_AkhstyrskayaCave_ICAZ2010_Poster.pdf