Adler, Daniel and Tushabramishvili, Nikoloz (2004) MIDDLE PALAEOLITHIC PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENT AND SUBSISTENCE IN THE SOUTHERN CAUCASUS. In: Settlement Dynamics of the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age. Kerns Verlag, Tubingen, pp. 91-132. ISBN 3-935751-01-X

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Occupying an intermediate position between Africa, Asia, and Europe the southern Caucasus has represented a northern geographic terminus for major expansions and migrations of human populations, both Archaic and Modern, throughout much of prehistory. During the Middle Palaeolithic, the high elevations and glaciated passes of the Caucasus served as a natural barrier to mobility in a northerly direction. Therefore the southern Caucasus provides an opportunity to examine Neanderthal behavioral patterns within an environmental and geographical cul de sac. Unfortunately, our current understanding of Middle Palaeolithic settlement and subsistence patterns within this region suffers from a dearth of well-excavated, dated, and documented sites. Previous excavations at the rockshelter Ortvale Klde, Djruchula Cave, and Bronze Cave, located in the western Georgian Republic, hint at a variable system of settlement and subsistence linked closely to prevailing environmental and topographical conditions. Although mountainous, warm, humid, and well forested, the numerous deep river valleys that drain the Caucasus form a patchwork of ecological niches populated by a wide array of floral and faunal species. The discontinuous nature of environmental communities and the natural impediments to mobility presented by deep valleys, fast rivers, and high elevations, likely influenced the settlement and subsistence behaviors of Neanderthals more than the cultural factors often cited. Likewise, we argue that climate change fed a cycle of regional abandonment and resettlement, which in turn fostered the technological diversity witnessed in the archaeological record. Traditional views of settlement and subsistence within the southern Caucasus are presented and evaluated in light of data retrieved during the recent re-excavation and dating of Ortvale Klde.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Nikoloz Tushabramishvili
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2014 07:58
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2015 08:36
URI: http://eprints.iliauni.edu.ge/id/eprint/1489

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