The Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain

The Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain

1st Edition - November 21, 1985

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  • Editor: Stuart Struever
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483289182

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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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 539
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1985
  • Published: November 21, 1985
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483289182

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.

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