Opening Asia for Russia

Scientists from Russia have discovered ancient sites in the foothills of the northern Tien Shan

28.09.2022 ТАСС 48 просмотров

The sites of the Upper Paleolithic were found in the foothills of the Tien Shan.


Scientists from Russia have discovered several Upper Paleolithic sites in the foothills of the northern Tien Shan, a set of tools that are similar to artifacts of the European-Middle Eastern Aurignacian culture. This makes the open camps the easternmost representative of such cultural traditions, the press service of the Institute of Archaeology (IA) of the Russian Academy of Sciences reported on Tuesday.


"The similarity of stone products can speak both about common cultural and technological processes that went independently of each other, and about possible contacts between groups of ancient people. How information was transmitted from one group to another, why different groups of people, including groups far from each other, reproduced similar technologies is still an open question," said Dmitry Kolerev, head of the Kazakhstan Paleolithic Detachment of IA RAS, whose words are quoted by the press service of the Institute.


The Aurignacian culture is considered today to be the first unambiguously "Cro-Magnon" tradition of making tools, which appeared about 43 thousand years ago, after the penetration of our ancestors into Europe, and disappeared about 26 thousand years ago, when it was replaced by the Gravett culture. Its bearers left many stone tools, as well as the first works of art and "advanced" rock art.


Most of the famous monuments of the Aurignacian culture are found in the countries of Western and Southern Europe, as well as in the Middle East and in the Russian and foreign Caucasus. Necklaces and his colleagues found that a close analogue of this tradition of making tools existed in the late Paleolithic and in a completely different region of Eurasia - in the foothills of the northern Tien Shan.


The oldest inhabitants of the Tien Shan


This region of Kazakhstan, as archaeologists note, was relatively poorly studied in the past, which was used by the participants of the Kazakhstan Paleolithic detachment of IA RAS. The excavations carried out by them indicated the presence of a large number of Paleolithic settlements on the territory of this region of the Tien Shan. In particular, scientists managed to find a large number of tools and other artifacts during the excavations of Uzynagash-1 and 2 monuments located in the foothill zone of the Zailiysky Alatau ridge.


During these excavations, which took place in the summer of 2022, scientists discovered traces of hearths, a baking pit, as well as about two thousand tools, including a large number of chippers, flakes, scrapers, plates and blanks of stone tools. Most of these tools were made from stones mined in the bed of the Uzynagash River, located near the open Paleolithic sites.


At the same time, the researchers found several artifacts made of jasper and other minerals that are not found in this region of the Tien Shan, but are present in the neighboring Chu-Ili Mountains 80 km from the Uzynagash-1 and 2 sites. This suggests that the ancient inhabitants of Kazakhstan made seasonal migrations to neighboring regions, where the climate was presumably warmer during winter.


Subsequent excavations and radiocarbon analysis of the remains from the baking pits, the researchers hope, will help them determine the exact age of the Tianshan sites, as well as clarify their relationship to the Aurignacian culture. This will help to understand whether the tools found by scientists appeared as a result of cultural exchange between the West and the east of Eurasia, or whether they have a nature independent of the Aurignacian culture.

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