The Aurignacian in the Zagros region:new research at Yafteh Cave,

The Aurignacian in the Zagros region:new research at Yafteh Cave,

Lorestan,IranM. Otte1, F. Biglari2, D. Flas1, S. Shidrang2, N. Zwyns1,M. Mashkour3, R. Naderi2, A. Mohaseb3, N. Hashemi4,J. Darvish4& V. Radu5

The Yafteh cave in Iran has an intact Aurignacian sequence over 2m deep. First explored by Frank Hole and Kent Flannery in the 1960s, its strata and assemblage are here re-evaluated at first hand by a new international team. The authors show that the assemblage is genuine Aurignacian and dates back to about 35.5K uncal BP. They propose it as emerging locally and even as providing a culture of origin for modern humans in West Asia and Europe. In Europe, modern humans and the Aurignacian culture appeared, abruptly, at around 36500BP (Verpoorte 2005). The absence of local regional traces suggests an external  origin for the phenomenon, by way of a significant population migration.This radical demographic expansion led to both the disappearance of local Neandertals and the establishment ofmodern European populations. Over many years, we have followed the lines of this tradition and this population, in Eastern Europe, the Near East and Central Asia. By its extraordinary density of Aurignacian sites, Central Asia (centred on modern Iran) is today proposed as the most probable centre of origin for this dual ethnic movement: in both anatomy and cultural tradition. Excavations during the twentieth century have already demonstrated the great antiquity of this process (Coon 1957; Solecki 1955; Hole & Flannery 1967; Rosenberg1988). It was thus necessary to organise new research in this region in order to clarify the homogeneity of the assemblages, obtain new AMS dates and particularly to clarify the local evolutionary processes for the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic.

Good luck getting the pdf to open though.


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