A Paleolithic cache at Tolbor (Northern Mongolia)

A. V. Tabarev, J. C. Gillam, Y. Kanomata, B. Gunchinsuren

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    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study presents analyses of a unique assemblage of lithic artifacts, 57 large flakes, discovered in the Ikh Tulberiin Gol River valley of Northern Mongolia. The assemblage represents the first Paleolithic cache ever discovered in Mongolia and is an isolated find, not directly associated with a habitation or logistic activity site. Results of use-wear analysis suggest most of the flakes were unused, with only a few minimally used for processing wood. GIS analyses of the local landscape indicate that the placement of the artifacts was likely symbolic, rather than utilitarian or for storage, lying in an east-west linear viewshed of the primary mountain pass to an adjacent river basin. Based on the context of the discovery as an isolated find and technical-typological features of the artifacts, the assemblage is interpreted as a cache of tool blanks that was purposefully and symbolically positioned on the landscape relative to the primary mountain pass by Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-21
    Number of pages8
    JournalArchaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
    Volume41
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep

    Keywords

    • Northern Mongolia
    • Paleolithic
    • cache
    • hunter-gatherers
    • technology
    • use-wear analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Cultural Studies

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