Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2021 Volume XXVII

doi: 10.17746/2658-6193.2021.27.0148-0153

УДК 902/904

Studies of Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Cave in the 2021 Field Season

Kolobova K.A., Harevich V.M., Vasiliev S.K., Bocharova E.N., Chistyakov P.V., Parkhomchuk E.V., Kharevich (Shalagina) A.V., Krivoshapkin A.I.

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The Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Cave was discovered in the vicinity of the Okladnikov Cave in the course of the IAET SB RAS survey excavation in 2020; the cave studies were continued in 2021. The karst cavity was documented as a paleontological site, Sibiryachikha-6, by the famous paleontologist N.V Ovodov in the late 20th century. In 2021, the existing test-pit was enlarged by 2 sq. m. Five stratigraphic units were established, four of which contain numerous paleontological materials. Lithic artifacts adding to the small assemblage of the previous year were found in two strata. Preliminary absolute AMS dates indicate that the cave was recurrently visited by ancient people during the Upper Paleolithic and late Middle Paleolithic. The species composition, interspecies ratio, and set of preserved bone remains of the lower layers are typical for cave taphocenoses formed as a result of food activity of large predators, primarily cave hyenas. The taphocenosis of the site is dominated by species of open spaces; a smaller numbers of species offorest-steppe, forest, and rocky biotopes were identified. The study of the Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Cave sediments, synchronous to culture-bearing deposits of Okladnikov Cave by preliminary absolute dating, provides an opportunity for detailed reconstruction of paleoenviroment during the Neanderthal habitation. The results of the latest field season suggest that the Upper Sibiryachikha Cave was a den of predators during the late Pleistocene, occasionally visited by various populations of ancient humans.


Northwestern Altai, Middle Paleolithic, industrial trend, archaeozoology, lithic assemblage

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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