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The Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780126542707, 9781483289182

The Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain

1st Edition

Editor: Stuart Struever
Author: Olga Soffer
eBook ISBN: 9781483289182
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st November 1985
Page Count: 539
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The Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain examines the hunter-gatherer adaptations on the Upper Paleolithic central Russian Plain. The book offers both a culture history for the area and an explanation for the changes in human adaptation. It presents what has been found at 29 major Upper Paleolithic sites occupied over a period of some 14,000 years. The book presents details of the archaeological inventories and assemblages found at the 29 sites, together with the geography and geology of the study area. It then uses environmental data to model environmental conditions and resource distribution during the various periods of human occupation, as well as to predict optimal strategies for exploiting available resources. Subsequent chapters present the relative and chronometric dating schemes. The book also elucidates the man-land relationships, ensuing subsistence strategies, settlement types present in the archaeological record, settlement systems, and sociopolitical behavior. The text will be significant to archaeologists, paleoecologists, and anthropologists interested in hunter-gatherers and late Pleistocene adaptations.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



1 Introduction

Objectives and Significance

Past Research in the Study Area

History of Paleolithic Archaeology in the USSR

Methodology and Assumptions

2 Upper Paleolithic Sites on the Central Russian Plain

Geography and Geomorphology of the Study Area

Pleistocene Stratigraphy and Chronology

Profiles of the Sites

Raw Data Tables

3 The Environmental Given

The Study Area Today

General Features of the Late Valdai

The Bryansk Interstadial: 27,000-24,000 B.P.

Environment between 24,000 and 20,000 B.P.

The Valdai Maximum: 20,000-18,000 B.P.

Climate after the Glacial Maximum: 18,000-12,000 B.P.

The Structure of the Landscape in the Late Valdai

4 Chronology and Land Use

Relative Dating of the Sites

Chronometrie Dating of the Sites

Proposed Chronological Ordering of the Sites

Upper Paleolithic Land Use: The Location of the Sites


5 Subsistence Practices and Duration of Occupation in the Late Valdai


Subsistence and Floral Resources

Storage Strategies

Subsistence and Faunal Resources

Seasonality of Occupation

Modeling Changes in Subsistence Practices

6 Site Types and the Settlement System

Settlement Systems: Present and Past

Data from the Central Russian Plain

Classificatory Methodology

Types of Sites on the Central Russian Plain

Population and Duration of Occupation

Settlement System Analysis

7 Sociopolitical Integration


Assumptions and Methodology

Social Networks

Sociopolitical Relationships and Organization

Ritual Behavior

Summary and Conclusions

8 Conclusions and Implications


Data and Models

Problems of Temporal and Spatial Scale

The Central Russian Plain Microcosm and the European Upper Paleolithic World

The Data and Our Theoretical Constructs




No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1985
21st November 1985
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Stuart Struever

Affiliations and Expertise

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A.

About the Author

Olga Soffer

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Illinois, Urbana, U.S.A.

Ratings and Reviews