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Middle Holocene Hunter–Gatherer Archaeology in the Baikal Region, Siberia: Recent Developments and Future Directions

Author(s): Andrzej Weber

Year: 2017

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Summary

Over the last 20 years, the Baikal Archaeology Project has invested much effort and many resources into research on Middle Holocene hunter–gatherers of the Cis-Baikal region in Siberia (~8300–3500 cal BP). Examination of new materials excavated by the project and analysis of previously accumulated archaeological collections produced many new insights on just about every aspect of Baikal’s hunter–gatherers. We now have a very good record of spatial and temporal variation in diet, subsistence, mobility and migrations, health, trauma and activity patterns, population size and distribution, mortuary practices and some information on genetic structure. A recent breakthrough is the development of a method for building high-resolution chronologies (HRC) of decadal resolution for the region’s Middle Holocene cemeteries. The method is important because it allows examination of the entire body of data from Baikal’s hunter–gatherer cemeteries from a fresh chronological perspective. The most important discoveries facilitated by HRC include: identification of dietary trends during the Early Neolithic, identification of a substantial gap in the use of one large Early Neolithic cemetery and substantial revisions to the timing of all Middle Holocene culture historical periods. The paper reviews these discoveries and outlines future work.


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Middle Holocene Hunter–Gatherer Archaeology in the Baikal Region, Siberia: Recent Developments and Future Directions. Andrzej Weber. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430737)


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Abstract Id(s): 16229

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America