Kabazi II: Last Interglacial Occupation, Environment & Subsistence
This publication is the first volume in a series devoted to the multidisciplinary studies of the International Crimean Paleolithic expedition in the framework of the international DFG project “Funktionale Variabilität im späten Mittelpaläolithikum auf der Halbinsel Krim, Ukraine” (RI 936/3-3). Over the last five years, a large team of specialists from Germany, Ukraine, France, Moldavia, Belgium, the United States and Russia have all made contributions to multidisciplinary research of the Crimean Paleolithic. The results from earlier field work and analytical investigations have already been published in two previous volumes (Chabai et al. eds., 2004, Demidenko ed., 2004), as well as in a number of national and international archeological journals. During the 2000-2001 field seasons the Last Interglacial soil complex was found and excavated at the Kabazi II open-air Middle Paleolithic site. The environmental and artefact studies are due to be completed over the next several years, and to some extent, the results published in this volume might be viewed as a halfway station in our investigations. The entire - circa 14 m - sequence of sediments at Kabazi II has now been exposed, and different methods of environmental, radiometric and archeological investigations have shown that the site is the longest and the most complete Middle Paleolithic sequence not only in the Crimea but also in Eastern Europe. Certainly, more investigations are needed, and different dating methods and geological studies might be employed either to confirm or to disprove the results obtained so far. However, our present knowledge concerning the chronology and geological processes, as well as the archaeological and environmental characteristics of the site serves as the background for our forthcoming investigations. This volume is devoted to the analysis of the lowest part of the Kabazi II sequence, and focuses on the environmental features, the faunal assemblages, and upon the artefacts recovered from the sediments comprising the Last Interglacial soil complex.
Kabazi II: The 70000 Years since the Last Interglacial
This is the second volume of the series “Palaeolithic Sites of Crimea” of which the first and this present volume are dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary studies at the Middle Palaeolithic open air site of Kabazi II. Now, after innumerable fi eld seasons, which began more than 20 years ago, and which have brought together specialists from the Ukraine, Moldavia, Russia, France, the United States, Germany, Belgium and Britain, it is evident that the limestone block, which fell on the site probably as early as the beginning of the last interglacial, prevented erosional processes down slope, and so preserved an unusually long stratigraphical sequence. From both om to top, the fi nal profi les reached a depth of more than 14 metres, encompassing sediment accumulations reaching from the Eemian to the Denekamp Interstadial. Many investigations, including geological and pollen analyses, as well as studies on small mammal fauna and snails, all of which deserve a special mention here, have shown that during this long time span there are very few gaps in the sedimentary accumulation sequence. A total of 55 archaeological levels have been unearthed, most of them in a primary in-situ position. This exceptional set of data has led to the formulation of a number of new conclusions regarding the Middle Palaeolithic on the Crimean peninsular. Excavations at Kabazi II have proved for the fi rst time that the Middle Palaeolithic settlement of the Crimea can be traced back to the end of the last interglacial.
Kabazi V: Interstratification of Micoquian & Levallois-Mousterian Camp Sites
Generally speaking, the variability encountered in the Crimean Middle Palaeolithic can be traced back to two distinct techno-complexes: the Eastern European Micoquian and the Levallois-Mousterian. In Eastern Europe, Micoquian assemblages have been discovered in all regions which have seen more or less intensive archaeological investigation – the Prut and Dniester river basins, the Dnieper river basin, the Donbass, the Crimean peninsula, as well as the north-western Caucasus and the Central and Northern Urals. On the other hand, Levallois-Mousterian occupations are known from just two regions: the Prut and Dniester river basins, and the Crimean peninsula. Available chronological data shows that both the Eastern European Micoquian and the Levallois-Mousterian appeared in the Last Interglacial and lasted up to - and including - the Denekamp Interstadial. At the same time, the regional chronological frames of the Micoquian and the Levallois-Mousterian are different. Whereas Micoquian assemblages found in association with MIS 5 deposits are known from the Crimea, the Prut / Dniester region, the Donbass, the Volga basin, and the Ural Mountains, its youngest occurrences (MIS 3) have so far only been detected in the Crimea, in the north-western Caucasus and in the Prut / Dniester region. On the other hand, the Levallois-Mousterian assemblages can be clearly subdivided into two spatio-temporal groups: the Prut / Dniester group and the Crimean group. The former is known from MIS 5 until the beginning of MIS 3, while the later existed from the beginning until the end of MIS 3. The Levallois-Mousterian assemblages from the Prut / Dniester region have also been termed “Molodova Mousterian Culture”; the Crimean Levallois-Mousterian is referred to as the ”Western Crimean Mousterian“ (WCM). The WCM occurs as a single facie of the Levallois-Mousterian techno-complex in the Crimea, while the Crimean Micoquian is subdivided into three facies: ”Ak Kaya”, ”Starosele” and ”Kiik Koba”.