Short-term occupations at high elevation during the Middle Paleolithic at Kalavan 2 (Republic of Armenia)

Malinsky-Buller, A;Glauberman, P;Ollivier, V;Lauer, T;Timms, R;Frahm, E;Brittingham, A;Triller, B;Kindler, L;Knul, MV;Krakovsky, M;Joannin, S;Hren, MT;Bellier, O;Clark, AA;Blockley, SPE;Arakelyan, D;Marreiros, J;Paixaco, E;Calandra, I;Ghukasyan, R;Nora, D;Nir, N;Adigyozalyan, A;Haydosyan, H;Gasparyan, B

[Malinsky-Buller, Ariel; Kindler, Lutz] Archaeol Res Ctr, MONREPOS, Neuwied, Germany.
[Malinsky-Buller, Ariel; Kindler, Lutz] Museum Human Behav Evolut, Neuwied, Germany.
[Malinsky-Buller, Ariel; Ghukasyan, Robert] Hebrew Univ Jerusalem, Inst Archaeol, Jerusalem, Israel.
[Glauberman, Philip; Adigyozalyan, Ani; Haydosyan, Hayk; Gasparyan, Boris] Natl Acad Sci Republ Armenia, Inst Archaeol & Ethnog, Yerevan, Armenia.
[Glauberman, Philip] Xian Jiaotong Liverpool Univ, Suzhou, Peoples R China.
[Ollivier, Vincent; Bellier, Olivier] Aix Marseille Univ, LAMPEA, Minist Culture, CNRS, Aix En Provence, France.
[Ollivier, Vincent] Aix Marseille Univ, FR ECCOREV, CNRS, Aix En Provence, France.
[Lauer, Tobias] Max Planck Inst Evolutionary Anthropol, Dept Human Evolut, Leipzig, Germany.
[Timms, Rhys; Clark, Alexander A.; Blockley, Simon P. E.] Royal Holloway Univ London, Ctr Quaternary Res, Dept Geog, Egham, Surrey, England.
[Frahm, Ellery] Yale Univ, Council Archaeol Studies, Dept Anthropol, Yale Initiat Study Ancient Pyrotechnol, New Haven, CT 06520 USA.
[Brittingham, Alexander] Univ Connecticut, Dept Anthropol, Old World Archaeol, Storrs, CT USA.
[Triller, Benno] Johannes Gutenberg Univ Mainz, Inst Ancient Studies, Mainz, Germany.
[Knul, Monika, V] Univ Winchester, Dept Archaeol Anthropol & Geog, Winchester, Hants, England.
[Krakovsky, Masha] Israel Antiqu Author, Jerusalem, Israel.
[Joannin, Sebastian] Univ Montpellier, Inst Sci Evolut Montpellier, EPHE, CNRS, Montpellier, France.
[Hren, Michael T.] Univ Connecticut, Dept Geosci, Storrs, CT USA.
[Hren, Michael T.] Univ Connecticut, Dept Chem, U-60, Storrs, CT USA.
[Bellier, Olivier] Aix Marseille Univ, Coll France, CEREGE, INRAE,IRD,CNRS, Aix En Provence, France.
[Arakelyan, Dimidry] Natl Acad Sci Republ Armenia, Inst Geol Sci, Yerevan, Armenia.
[Marreiros, Joao; Paixaco, Eduardo; Calandra, Ivan] MONREPOS Archaeol Res Ctr, Lab Traceol & Controlled Expt, TraCEr, Neuwied, Germany.
[Marreiros, Joao; Paixaco, Eduardo; Calandra, Ivan] RGZM, Museum Human Behav Evolut, Neuwied, Germany.
[Marreiros, Joao; Paixaco, Eduardo; Nora, David] Univ Algarve, ICArEHB Interdisciplinary Ctr Archaeol & Evolut H, Faro, Portugal.
[Nir, Nadav] Free Univ Berlin, Dept Earth Sci, Phys Geog, Berlin, Germany.

PLOS ONE

Volume:16 Issue:2

DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0245700

Publication Year:2021

CAS JCR:3区

ESI Discipline:Multidisciplinary

Latest Impact Factor:3.24

Document Type:Journal Article

Abstract

The Armenian highlands encompasses rugged and environmentally diverse landscapes and is characterized by a mosaic of distinct ecological niches and large temperature gradients. Strong seasonal fluctuations in resource availability along topographic gradients likely prompted Pleistocene hominin groups to adapt by adjusting their mobility strategies. However, the role that elevated landscapes played in hunter-gatherer settlement systems during the Late Pleistocene (Middle Palaeolithic [MP]) remains poorly understood. At 1640 m above sea level, the MP site of Kalavan 2 (Armenia) is ideally positioned for testing hypotheses involving elevation-dependent seasonal mobility and subsistence strategies. Renewed excavations at Kalavan 2 exposed three main occupation horizons and ten additional low densities lithic and faunal assemblages. The results provide a new chronological, stratigraphical, and paleoenvironmental framework for hominin behaviors between ca. 60 to 45 ka. The evidence presented suggests that the stratified occupations at Kalavan 2 locale were repeated ephemerally most likely related to hunting in a high-elevation within the mountainous steppe landscape.

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