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Glacial and post-glacial adaptations of hunter-gatherers: investigating the late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic subsistence strategies in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe

Glacial and post-glacial adaptations of hunter-gatherers: investigating the late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic subsistence strategies in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe
Glacial and post-glacial adaptations of hunter-gatherers: investigating the late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic subsistence strategies in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe

Diverse landscapes and ecosystems stretching across Europe led to diverse hunter-gatherer cultural records during the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. In response to abrupt climatic forcing, starting around the Late Glacial Maximum and followed by climatic events such as the Bølling–Allerød and the Younger Dryas in the Terminal Pleistocene, archaeological data pertaining to cultural and behavioral shifts of hunter-gatherers continue to be explored on a regional and pan-regional scale. Here we present an initial summary, which includes new and published data on faunal analyses from multiple open air sites that span the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene, dated between the Late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic (20,000–6000 uncal 14C BP) in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe. For this area, this is the first study to compile the cultural and faunal data with geo-referenced localization and radiometric dates of the archaeological sites. Taken together, faunal assemblages from the Epigravettian are characterized by low diversity and are often dominated by one species of large game, including bison and equids, whereas the Mesolithic diet is characterized by higher inter-site variability subsisting on large ungulate and greater emphasis on freshwater resources. This study contributes to the general knowledge concerning the last phases in the evolution of the Eurasian hunter-gatherers.

Hunter-gatherers, Late Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Steppe, Subsistence practices
1040-6182
192-209
Kitagawa, Keiko
1f21a249-8325-4556-9269-98759be8c7a9
Julien, Marie Anne
ead5e431-dc7b-4099-93a4-72d4a6bcffb0
Krotova, Oleksandra
8f2d727e-5159-49e5-8e1c-155f26893423
Bessudnov, Alexander A.
b9e67909-1db8-42a4-88c8-28690d36b375
Sablin, Mikail V.
875e88af-289d-4789-9827-9d3f2833c3f3
Kiosak, Dmytro
f8d856bf-c9b6-4304-998e-2e3b98878686
Leonova, Natalia
8169aa43-a786-4e00-a7df-d69ede3d6e53
Plohenko, Boris
5a20d943-c757-46cd-8e1a-1f98300542f7
Patou-Mathis, Marylène
58975e74-629c-46b7-aa14-a5eda4671eb5
Kitagawa, Keiko
1f21a249-8325-4556-9269-98759be8c7a9
Julien, Marie Anne
ead5e431-dc7b-4099-93a4-72d4a6bcffb0
Krotova, Oleksandra
8f2d727e-5159-49e5-8e1c-155f26893423
Bessudnov, Alexander A.
b9e67909-1db8-42a4-88c8-28690d36b375
Sablin, Mikail V.
875e88af-289d-4789-9827-9d3f2833c3f3
Kiosak, Dmytro
f8d856bf-c9b6-4304-998e-2e3b98878686
Leonova, Natalia
8169aa43-a786-4e00-a7df-d69ede3d6e53
Plohenko, Boris
5a20d943-c757-46cd-8e1a-1f98300542f7
Patou-Mathis, Marylène
58975e74-629c-46b7-aa14-a5eda4671eb5

Kitagawa, Keiko, Julien, Marie Anne, Krotova, Oleksandra, Bessudnov, Alexander A., Sablin, Mikail V., Kiosak, Dmytro, Leonova, Natalia, Plohenko, Boris and Patou-Mathis, Marylène (2018) Glacial and post-glacial adaptations of hunter-gatherers: investigating the late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic subsistence strategies in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe. Quaternary International, 465, 192-209. (doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2017.01.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Diverse landscapes and ecosystems stretching across Europe led to diverse hunter-gatherer cultural records during the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. In response to abrupt climatic forcing, starting around the Late Glacial Maximum and followed by climatic events such as the Bølling–Allerød and the Younger Dryas in the Terminal Pleistocene, archaeological data pertaining to cultural and behavioral shifts of hunter-gatherers continue to be explored on a regional and pan-regional scale. Here we present an initial summary, which includes new and published data on faunal analyses from multiple open air sites that span the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene, dated between the Late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic (20,000–6000 uncal 14C BP) in the southern steppe of Eastern Europe. For this area, this is the first study to compile the cultural and faunal data with geo-referenced localization and radiometric dates of the archaeological sites. Taken together, faunal assemblages from the Epigravettian are characterized by low diversity and are often dominated by one species of large game, including bison and equids, whereas the Mesolithic diet is characterized by higher inter-site variability subsisting on large ungulate and greater emphasis on freshwater resources. This study contributes to the general knowledge concerning the last phases in the evolution of the Eurasian hunter-gatherers.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 January 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 May 2017
Published date: 26 January 2018
Keywords: Hunter-gatherers, Late Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Steppe, Subsistence practices

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419337
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419337
ISSN: 1040-6182
PURE UUID: 71f929ef-7db6-481c-a676-b1ea1bbed212

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 00:48

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Contributors

Author: Keiko Kitagawa
Author: Marie Anne Julien
Author: Oleksandra Krotova
Author: Alexander A. Bessudnov
Author: Mikail V. Sablin
Author: Dmytro Kiosak
Author: Natalia Leonova
Author: Boris Plohenko
Author: Marylène Patou-Mathis

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