Glacial effect on Paleolithic and Mesolithic population.

why would they have found all these paleolithic and neolithic sites in the Balkans, and not the mesolithic?
first paleolithic entries into Europe came through Balkans, Balkans were populated during paleoilthic before the ice ages
Bonunician was related with Emirian in the Levant
Proto-Aurignacian : the trail starts in the Balkans, not southern Spain. Contemporary with Ahmarian in the Levant. Though tools were different, both industries were the first to strike blades directly from core stones, one step beyond Bohunician and Emirian lithic reduction technology.
Aurignacian, recent dating shows it started in Willendorf, Austria near the Danube, these were Proto-Aurignacians expanding north
Gravettian was supposed to have entered through Balkans, it looks more and more that it entered through Mezmaiskaya, Caucasus
There may have been some entries through Gibraltar, it was certainly not the main entry door.

If the main entry point was through the Balkans, why isn't there more evidence? Possibly not enough archeology being done in the area, as I suggested earlier. But if we were to go by the number of known sites, Iberia would appear to be the main entry point. Assumptions aren't enough.
 
I did some digging and it looks like after Glacial Maximum people knew how to build simple huts.
Contemporary to Solutreans, Kostenki-Willendorf culture lived in huts made of mammoth bones, sticks and stones.
mammothhousekievsm.jpg


Magdalenian tent:
Pincevent_tent.gif


Contemporary to Magdalenians, Natufians had even more elaborate huts. (couldn't find a nice reconstruction pic)

It is hard to imagine situation on Balkans being different. For hunters, stationary settlements like caves are not very practical. Tents and huts serve much better purpose in their mobile lifestyle. The best example are prairie Indians who only lived in tents all year round and never left any paintings in caves. Future archeologist could think that prairies were unoccupied before white men showed up, if not very well documented recent history.

I think the Western European abundance of well decorated caves is quite a phenomenon when compared to the rest of the world. It just might give an impression to early archeology that this was the only place occupied in europe after Ice Age Maximum. I think there is an archeological gold mine of pre-neolithic to be discovered in Balkans.
 
I don't have any answers to some of these questions, but what I can say is that historically there wasn't very much interest in the Paleolithic in Italian archaeological circles. When investigation first began, the foremost researcher at the time, Luigi Pigorini, stated that there was nothing in Italy between the Mousterian and the Neolithic and that was that. He had such a dominant effect on Italian archaeology that it took decades for other viewpoints to surface. Perhaps it was because there was so much to investigate from the Bronze Age and especially from the Iron Age to the Classicial Era. That has lead to a situation where the most important works on the Paleolithic in Italy are an outdated French work and one book written in English, but by an Italian, which attempts to gather in one place the research that has been done in Italian language journals. (See link below...) I have to say that in all my years of university study and extensive reading on Italian history and pre-history I never paid much attention to it either, so it may be a cultural blind spot of some sort. From abstracts I have read, there does seem to be some increased interest recently, but I don't follow it very much.
https://books.google.com/books?id=y...Why so few Paleolithic sites in Italy&f=false

Although it's been investigated periodically, it's only since 2009, for example, that the Equi Terme grotto right near me has even been secured. Starting on page 11 of this summary of the papers presented this last August at the European Society of Human Evolution, there is a discussion of the site and pictures of it. (The abstracts are very interesting in their own right.)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3097/3167231428_e1e7434b0e.jpg

Certainly, there are many grottoes and caves in Italy, but Italy has been extremely densely populated since the Neolithic, and these caves have been used since that time...they were still used as recently as sixty years ago by shepherds in our area, and during the war were used by partisans etc. I doubt many Paleolithic remains could be found in them at this point. The same is probably true of the also densely populated Near East and Balkans.

Still, there are more sites than appear on some of these maps that have been posted. I think the situation is analogous to that of Beaker artifacts, where much of the work was not published in English, and so was unknown to English speaking researchers. I tried to remedy that a little bit on this blog with my posting of the work of Delfino.

In terms of the Paleolithic, even the excerpted version of the Mussi book on google books is very long, and I haven't read most of it. However, this review of it does point out some interesting things.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/reviews/04_04_mussi.htm

"Chapter 5, ‘Moderns versus Neandertals’, addresses the question of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. In Italy the lithic industries found immediately after the Mousterian are classified as belonging either to the Uluzzian or to the Aurignacian, and there seems to be a tacit assumption that the former were made by Neanderthals while the latter were made by modern humans, Homo sapiens. In fact, human remains are very rare in the Italian Early Upper Palaeolithic, and consequently the association between different hominid species and lithic industries remains unclear.

Chapter 6, ‘Fully Equipped Hunter-Gatherers’, is concerned with the Gravettian and Early Epigravettian periods, between 25,000 BP and 16,000 BP. Beginning with the Gravettian, the archaeological record becomes more comprehensive, due to the extensive array of material found, such as works of art and the first evidence for burials. Although human settlement was as scattered as it had been in previous occupations, and in fact only about fifty sites can be dated to this period, the occupation of Italy appears to have been stable. This is in contrast to the preceding five thousand or so years, between 30,000 BP and 25,000 BP, when only isolated individuals, or small human groups, visited part of the Italian peninsula episodically. Some of the Gravettian and Early Epigravettian sites are multilayered settlements with thousands of artefacts indicating frequent reoccupation of a preferred spot, while others are short-term campsites.


Chapter 7, ‘The Great Shift’, is the final chapter in the book, and addresses the Late Glacial and Early Postglacial record, corresponding with the Final Epigravettian and the Mesolithic periods, from 16,000 BP to 7500 BP. Given the presence of mountain ranges within a short distance of the coast, Italy is ideally suited to illustrate the great shift in human adaptation that occurred at this time. Rising temperatures resulted in rising sea levels, which in turn caused the coastal plains to shrink and, in some areas, to disappear. This is reflected in a shift from marine to terrestrial molluscs in the shell middens, and in the abandonment of many sites. On the other hand, with rising temperatures the nearby mountain ranges became accessible to plants, animals, and, eventually, to humans, and hundreds of sites have been recorded between 1900 and 2300 metres above sea level, and up to the Alpine watershed. Some of these sites were short-lived, while others were repeatedly occupied, during summer excursions to hunt ibex and chamois. Sicily was permanently colonised during this period, although the evidence for pre-Neolithic occupation on Sardinia is more ambiguous."

What I take from this is that there is some Aurignacian in Italy, but there is not very much of it. There is more in the Gravettian than appears in maps produced by Engish speakers (he mentions 50 sites), but still not as much perhaps as some other areas?

So, what is the reason? Is it that the caves have indeed had their remains scattered because of dense population? Even Classical Era or Iron Age Era finds are still being found every time a new tunnel or road is built, and these kinds of remains would be below that. Were many of them along the coastlines and they were submerged in subsequent periods? After all, the Adriatic used to only go up to Gargano.
http://cronologia.leonardo.it/storia/aa799.jpg

However, I'm also intrigued by some of the suggestions posted upthread about the influence of topography and fauna and flora. Most of Italy was warmer and forested during this period? Am I interpreting the maps correctly? If that's the case, perhaps these ancient people used open air camps more frequently, and wooden structures, which would have mostly left little trace in the record. It's true that in his review of the Mussi book on the Italian Paleolithic, the author states that Mousterian open air sites have indeed been found, so that may not be the total answer, but I think it would be safe to say that all evidence of lots of them may be buried under the traces of subsequent migrations.

Unless the Alps and, in the case of the Balkans, the Dinaric Alps, were a barrier to some of this gene flow, especially that which came from the east? However, then what about Iberia? Did these Paleolithic settlements penetrate far south of the Pyrennees? If they did, then in the case of Iberia perhaps we should look to gene flow from North African?

It's a puzzle.
 
Certainly, there are many grottoes and caves in Italy, but Italy has been extremely densely populated since the Neolithic, and these caves have been used since that time...they were still used as recently as sixty years ago by shepherds in our area, and during the war were used by partisans etc. I doubt many Paleolithic remains could be found in them at this point. The same is probably true of the also densely populated Near East and Balkans.
I was thinking the same. Balkans were densely populated from early Neolithic on and damage have could been done to many caves.

Chapter 7, ‘The Great Shift’, is the final chapter in the book, and addresses the Late Glacial and Early Postglacial record, corresponding with the Final Epigravettian and the Mesolithic periods, from 16,000 BP to 7500 BP. Given the presence of mountain ranges within a short distance of the coast, Italy is ideally suited to illustrate the great shift in human adaptation that occurred at this time. Rising temperatures resulted in rising sea levels, which in turn caused the coastal plains to shrink and, in some areas, to disappear. This is reflected in a shift from marine to terrestrial molluscs in the shell middens, and in the abandonment of many sites. On the other hand, with rising temperatures the nearby mountain ranges became accessible to plants, animals, and, eventually, to humans, and hundreds of sites have been recorded between 1900 and 2300 metres above sea level, and up to the Alpine watershed. Some of these sites were short-lived, while others were repeatedly occupied, during summer excursions to hunt ibex and chamois. Sicily was permanently colonised during this period, although the evidence for pre-Neolithic occupation on Sardinia is more ambiguous."
Did they ever find in Italy a skull from this Late Glacial period?
 
If the main entry point was through the Balkans, why isn't there more evidence? Possibly not enough archeology being done in the area, as I suggested earlier. But if we were to go by the number of known sites, Iberia would appear to be the main entry point. Assumptions aren't enough.

the major problem with old paleolithic sites in Europe, there are not many skelletons found, and there is no 100 % certainty whether these sites were Neanderthal or modern human
so there is a lot of possibilities for building your own theories
however better dating technology and better understanding of the evolution of lithic reduction technology results in growing consensus about the European paleolithic chronology and evolution

if you're interested, I can recommend you this blog : http://www.aggsbach.de/
 
this is a cave in the Zagros Mountains, Kurdistan

Erbil_governorate_shanidar_cave.jpg

80 kya it was occupied by Neanderthals
36 kya it was occupied by modern humans with some technology similar to Aurignacian
during ice age it probably was abandoned for a while
after ice age it was reoccupied by people who probably lived in Georgia, Caucasus area before the ice age
this cave has been occupied ever since, till recently by sheepherders

still the stratification in this cave is intact
some caves may be disturbed by neolithic or later occupation, but most of the time, if there were paleolithic artefacts there, they are still there

most paleolithic tribes were mobile and had tents or builded temporary dwellings
it didn't prevent them from temporarily staying in a good cave, if it was in the neighbourhood
 
Thanks LEBROK
beautiful and useful maps
 
It is also possible that there were cults or religions in certain cultures which considered caves as either dangerous or sacred, thus to be avoided. Still today there are cultures who never climbed certain prominent mountains because people believe it is inhabited by powerful ghosts, gods or daemons who would kill any intruders.
Maybe a cultural progression happened in Iberia and France where selected shamans or wizards started to "communicate" with these ghosts by eating mushrooms and painting walls.
 
it seems that certain tribes worshiped certain animals
that would have been the case with the cave bear
it didn't prevent other tribes to hunt the cave bear
the cave bear became extinct 27000 years ago
 
this is a cave in the Zagros Mountains, Kurdistan

View attachment 7042

80 kya it was occupied by Neanderthals
36 kya it was occupied by modern humans with some technology similar to Aurignacian
during ice age it probably was abandoned for a while
after ice age it was reoccupied by people who probably lived in Georgia, Caucasus area before the ice age
this cave has been occupied ever since, till recently by sheepherders

still the stratification in this cave is intact
some caves may be disturbed by neolithic or later occupation, but most of the time, if there were paleolithic artefacts there, they are still there

most paleolithic tribes were mobile and had tents or builded temporary dwellings
it didn't prevent them from temporarily staying in a good cave, if it was in the neighbourhood
I think you are referring to Glacial Maximum around 20 kya. The whole Ice Age lasted 120 thousand years.
 
It is also possible that there were cults or religions in certain cultures which considered caves as either dangerous or sacred, thus to be avoided. Still today there are cultures who never climbed certain prominent mountains because people believe it is inhabited by powerful ghosts, gods or daemons who would kill any intruders.
Maybe a cultural progression happened in Iberia and France where selected shamans or wizards started to "communicate" with these ghosts by eating mushrooms and painting walls.
I think it is possible scenario, however it is hard to imagine this religious beliefs lasting such long time through upper paleolithic and mesolithic, and through such vast areas of Balkans and Near East.
 
I think you are referring to Glacial Maximum around 20 kya. The whole Ice Age lasted 120 thousand years.

as far as I know, this cave has only been occupied since 80 kya

there are caves with longer history :

Central-Asia : Obi-Rakhmat near Tashkent and Kara-Bom near Altaï Mts : 200 kya
A new Neanderthal tribe arrived in Obi-Rakhmat som 87 kya, before were either Neanderthal or maybe Denisova. Modern humans arrived 48.8 kya

Mount Carmel and Galilee caves have 600 kya history
 
It is also possible that there were cults or religions in certain cultures which considered caves as either dangerous or sacred, thus to be avoided. Still today there are cultures who never climbed certain prominent mountains because people believe it is inhabited by powerful ghosts, gods or daemons who would kill any intruders.
Maybe a cultural progression happened in Iberia and France where selected shamans or wizards started to "communicate" with these ghosts by eating mushrooms and painting walls.

If you eat certain kinds of mushrooms, you will imagine that you're in a cave and will see magical beings. Or so I've been told. I imagine that would encourage shamans to visit actual caves to hang out there, paint the walls and play music for the spirits, even if their tribal customs had previously included a taboo against going into caves. I suppose such a taboo could have originated because dangerous animals had been living in caves, and the taboo could last for a long time after such animals became extinct, until something such as magic mushrooms convinced people to change their habits.
 
if you're interested, I can recommend you this blog : http://www.aggsbach.de/
Interesting read. I was reading some and scrolling down to check on progress of stone tools..., and could never reach the end of the page. After a while I noticed it is "infinity" page, lol. When one scrolls almost to the end, new stuff pops up constantly to existence, adding more and more articles.
 
Interesting read. I was reading some and scrolling down to check on progress of stone tools..., and could never reach the end of the page. After a while I noticed it is "infinity" page, lol. When one scrolls almost to the end, new stuff pops up constantly to existence, adding more and more articles.

best is to get acquinted with some cultures and lithic technics like e.g. Aurignacian or Levallois via wikipedia or other sources and then get more details at the aggsbach site by making some searches in Aggscbach

Aggsbach deals only with European and Levantine cultures, and with the Nubian Complex

for the Nubian Complex you should first check Dieneke on his 'out of Arabia' theory
 
best is to get acquinted with some cultures and lithic technics like e.g. Aurignacian or Levallois via wikipedia or other sources and then get more details at the aggsbach site by making some searches in Aggscbach

Aggsbach deals only with European and Levantine cultures, and with the Nubian Complex

for the Nubian Complex you should first check Dieneke on his 'out of Arabia' theory

Certainly Nubian Complex is an excellent candidate for being first out of Africa.
image

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028239


To bad there are no skeletal remnants to definitively conclude that they were HSS and not Neanderthals. From the same time we have a skull from Morocco dating to 100,000 BC, but it doesn't look like a skull from Israel from 90,000. I couldn't find the skull picture from Moroccan cave, but the reconstruction shows very SSA face. They just assumed the skin colour will be lighter for some reason.
1257.Main.jpg
 
Certainly Nubian Complex is an excellent candidate for being first out of Africa.
image

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028239


To bad there are no skeletal remnants to definitively conclude that they were HSS and not Neanderthals. From the same time we have a skull from Morocco dating to 100,000 BC, but it doesn't look like a skull from Israel from 90,000. I couldn't find the skull picture from Moroccan cave, but the reconstruction shows very SSA face. They just assumed the skin colour will be lighter for some reason.
1257.Main.jpg

indeed, no skeletons or skuls, and very few dates

Neandertahls have been identified in the Levant but none in Africa or Arabia
early modern humans heva been identified in East-Africa

2 early dates I know :
Taramsa (Egypt/Sudan) 118 +/- 7 ka , more or less contemporary with 1st modern human out of Africa (Jebel Faya 123 - 127 ka)
Dhofar, Oman 106 ka , probably shortly after arrival of Nubian Complex in Arabia

Nubian Complex came back to Taramsa +/- 70 ka, but there is no continuity between early (118 +/- 7 ka) and late (70 ka) Nubian complex in Africa, so this was backmigration from Arabia

According to Dienekes this backmigration is haplogroup E. I agree with that.
But in that case Emirian should be haplogroup C & F, while in the mean time D would have migrated further east.
Emirian was the first blade industry (52 ka) , as opposed to flake Levallois.
Emirian has evolved from a mixture of Nubian and Tabun complexes.

There are still a lot of mysteries left, but in the end, it all makes sense.
Aggsbach tells you how Bohunician, Ahmarian and Aurignacian evolved from Emirian.
 
To bad there are no skeletal remnants to definitively conclude that they were HSS and not Neanderthals. From the same time we have a skull from Morocco dating to 100,000 BC, but it doesn't look like a skull from Israel from 90,000. I couldn't find the skull picture from Moroccan cave, but the reconstruction shows very SSA face. They just assumed the skin colour will be lighter for some reason.
1257.Main.jpg

what do you mean by SSA?

it looks like this reconstruction was done by a Moroccan guy : same eye colour , hair and skin complexion as himself ..
or did they extract DNA ?
 
what do you mean by SSA?

it looks like this reconstruction was done by a Moroccan guy : same eye colour , hair and skin complexion as himself ..
or did they extract DNA ?
It is a reconstruction from the skull. Yes, the complexion could be seen as contemporary Moroccan, but features like shape of head, nose, jaw and lips are definitely Sub Saharan.
 

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